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Welcome to Effigy Mounds | by J. Stephen Conn
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Welcome to Effigy Mounds

Surveys of northeastern Iowa in the 19th and early 20th centuries documented more than 10,000 earthen mounds of all types. It is thought that most of these were created between 750 and 1,400 years ago by American Indians, or some say by their predecessors. Exactly who built the mounds and what their purpose was is still being debated. The tragedy is that most of the land on which the mounds stood was logged, plowed, and convereted into farmland by early Eurpoean/American settlers. Today fewer than 1,000 (about 10%) of the mounds remain.


Effigy Mounds National Monument was established on October 25, 1949, to protect 206 prehistoric mounds. Thirty-one of these take the form of animal effigies: birds, turtles, lizards, bison and bears. They are in a very picturesque setting, high on bluffs overlooking the Mississippi River. It is a place of mystery and wonder.

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Taken in May 2004