Mounds State Park
|Mounds State Park|
Mounds State Park entrance sign.
|Region||Madison County, Indiana|
|Nearest town||Anderson, Indiana|
|Culture||Adena culture, Hopewell tradition|
|First occupied||160 BCE|
|Excavation and maintenance|
|Responsible body||Indiana Department of Natural Resources|
|Number of monuments||
Mounds State Park
|Area:||251.8 acres (101.9 ha)|
|Governing body:||Indiana DNR|
|Added to NRHP:||January 18, 1973|
Mounds State Park is a state park in Anderson, Indiana (not to be confused with Mounds State Recreation Area (SRA) near Brookville, Indiana) featuring Native American heritage, and 10 ceremonial mounds built by the prehistoric Adena culture indigenous peoples of eastern North America, and also used centuries later by Hopewell culture inhabitants.
The largest earthwork, the "Great Mound", is believed to have been constructed around 160 BCE. The Great Mound is a circular earth enclosure with an internal ditch and south to southwest entrance. The earthworks measure 394 feet (120.1 m) across from bank to bank. The 9-foot-tall (3 m) embankment is 63 feet (19 m) wide at its base, and the ditch is 10.5 feet (3.2 m) deep and 60 feet (18.3 m) across at its top. The central platform is 138 feet (42 m) across and was occupied by a 4-foot-high (1.2 m) central mound 30 feet (9 m) in diameter. One particular mound at the Anderson Site has a sequence of clay platforms, each deliberately covered by a layer of ash.
Popular culture 
In 1900, a series of strange misshapen skeletons were unearthed from similar mounds in nearby Alexandria, Indiana. This brought thousands of tourists from around the Mid-West. In 1910, several locals admitted to stealing chimpanzee skeletons from the nearby Muncie Zoo's monkey house. In 1915 the skeletons were sold to a local museum which burned down in 1919.
What is now Mounds State Park was the location of an amusement park which operated from 1897 until 1929. While the amusement park exploited the native-made mounds, it also helped to protect them by making them a "point of regional pride and a destination," otherwise they may have been plundered or otherwise destroyed. When the Great Depression hit, the property was sold to Madison County Historical Society, which transferred ownership to the State of Indiana, after which it became Mounds State Park.
See also 
- Adena culture
- Hopewell tradition
- List of Hopewell sites
- List of burial mounds in the United States
- List of archaeological sites on the National Register of Historic Places in Indiana
- "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2010-07-09.
- Dean R. Snow (2010). Archaeology of Native North America. New York: Prentice-Hall. p. 103.
- Werner, Nicholas (1937). Mysterious Circumstances Of Central Indiana. Clayton Books. p. 121.
- "Mounds state Park Interpretive Master Plan 2011". Indiana Department of Natural Resources. Retrieved 5 July 2012.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Mounds State Park|
- Official Mounds State Park website
- Friends of Mounds State Park website
- Central States Archaeological Societies: Mounds State Park
- National Register of Historic Places for Madison County, Indiana