Bear and Lynx Effigy Mounds 500-1000 A.D.

Erected 1990 by Madison Landmarks Commission
Madison, Dane County, Wisconsin
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500-1000 A.D.
These mounds were constructed by a people of a hunting and gathering culture who met periodically at ceremonial grounds like this one to bury their dead.
The marker and mounds are located at Elmside Park on eastbound Lakeland Avenue, at its T-intersection with Maple Avenue, Madison, Wisconsin 53704.

City of Madison Landmarks Commission: Madison Landmarks
Overlooking Lake Monona are two well-preserved animal effigies. Referred to for many years as a lynx and a bear, the actual animals or spirits that they were intended to represent is not entirely clear. These mounds were originally part of the same cluster as the Hudson Park mound.

Wisconsin has the highest concentration of effigy mounds in the United States and the Madison area has one of the highest concentration of effigy mounds remaining. Most mounds were lost to 19th century agricultural practices and city development. The mound builders were farmers who also engaged in hunting and gathering. They lived in small villages and migrated from one to another based on the seasonal availability of natural resources. The mounds often, but not always, have burials associated with them, but their exact purpose is not entirely understood. Mounds tend to have been built in places with beautiful views of the surrounding countryside. The mounds are considered sacred by modern Native Americans and should be treated with respect.
Landmark Nomination Form

The marker is No. 94 in a series of markers erected by the Madison Landmarks Commission.

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