Social Organization

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

Social Organization
Large construction projects like stockades and mounds indicate a society that was organized and fairly complex. Furthermore, evidence for some level of social stratification can be interpreted from the layout of the site. Houses located on top of the platform mounds, for example, were not residences for the average inhabitant. These areas were likely reserved for members of the elite, a group who also served in religious roles. From atop any of the mounds, one could view the entire site and surrounding region. At least some members of this group were buried within the mounds. The residential zone, demarcated by an internal stockade, houses the majority of the site's occupants. Within this area, meals were prepared, tools were made, stories told, children played, food stored, and some of the deceased were buried. A large plaza area existed in the central portion of the site, and this was a space where communal activities could take place.
The marker is one of a series of markers placed 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:

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

 Looking west at the "largest mound at the site
and the largest wall of the stockade".

 View of the lower parking lot where "houses once stood".

View of the large mound from the marker location.

Bench next to the marker . . .

The marker is visible at the top of the knoll, to the right.

The Visitor Center was closed at the time of my visit.

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

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