Stockade

© Photographed July 21, 2015
Aztalan State Park
Jefferson, Jefferson County, Wisconsin
43.063353, -88.861921
Google Map

Stockade
Stockades are walls or fences. There were three different stockades at Aztalan, one around the exterior, one surrounding the plaza, and one enclosing the residential portion of the site. The external stockade contained bastions, or watchtowers, at evenly-spaced intervals. Entrances to the site itself were cleverly constructed. For example, although the wall looks solid, there is a set of overlapping walls at one entrance to the plaza near the southwest mound.  The opening is screened from view, and you enter through a narrow, protected passageway.

To build the stockade, posts were set in the ground. Willow branches were woven through the posts and the whole stockade was plastered with clay mixed with grasses. There are various theories about the stockade's function. People built stockades for many reasons: to keep people out, to keep people in, and/or to control the number and type of people who enter and exit.

The first exterior stockade was rebuilt; the second one burned, but we do not know if this was deliberate or accidental. 
Stockade
  Likely stockade construction technique; plants and grasses are mixed with mud to form a plaster over the large individual posts.
The marker is one of a series of markers located on the grounds of Aztalan State Park,



Aztalan has remained a mystery since the early 19th century when it was discovered by settlers who came to the Crawfish River, 50 miles west of Milwaukee. Who were the early indigenous people who inhabited this place? When did they live here? Why did they disappear? Robert Birmingham and Lynne Goldstein attempt to unlock some of the mysteries, providing insights and information about the group of people who first settled here in 1100 A.D. Filled with maps, drawings, and photographs of artifacts, this volume examines a time before modern Native American people settled in this area.

To receive a review copy or press release, to schedule an author event, or for more information contact the WHS Press Marketing Department:
whspress@wisconsinhistory.org.

Note: This book meets and exceeds the requirements of the Wisconsin American Indian Education Act (Act 31).




Inside the stockade . . .

 The Visitor Center was closed the day of my visit.

The marker is located at Aztalan State Park in Jefferson, Wisconsin.

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