Wisconsin Pit Opens a Wide Window on Early Midwestern Culture Archaeologists Also Discover Links between Two Prehistoric Peoples

By Peter N. Spotts, writer of The Christian Science Monitor | The Christian Science Monitor, November 5, 1996 | Go to article overview

Wisconsin Pit Opens a Wide Window on Early Midwestern Culture Archaeologists Also Discover Links between Two Prehistoric Peoples


Peter N. Spotts, writer of The Christian Science Monitor, The Christian Science Monitor


Some 170 years before Alexander the Great set out to conquer Asia Minor, a now-nameless native half a world away rested a thick clay pot on the ground and walked from a gathering along the Mississippi River into oblivion.

Nearly 2,500 years later, anthropologist Jim Stoltman gently picks up a piece of the pot from a lab table filled with unearthed artifacts.

The segment, plus features in its original resting place, he says, suggest that what researchers have held to be two prehistoric North American cultures may in fact have been one. The same pit yielded a major burial find belonging to a culture that flourished in the Midwest from 200 BC to AD 500, known as the Hopewell culture. The find, he continues, not only implies that researchers may have underestimated the Hopewell population's size. It also could open a window a bit wider on how the culture was organized. Of most immediate interest may be the Hopewell discovery. Dr. Stoltman, an anthropology professor at the University of Wisconsin at Madison, has found "a very large piece of the puzzle" as archaeologists and historians try to piece together a picture of the Hopewell's impact on the upper Midwest, says Robert Birmingham, Wisconsin's state archaeologist. The culture draws its name from a farm in Ohio where the first Hopewell burial mound was studied. Ultimately, researchers would find related sites in states from New York to Michigan to Kansas. Apparently rooted in the Illinois Valley, the culture's trade links extended from the Rockies to the Atlantic and Gulf Coasts. Stoltman says he went out into the field hoping to find a Hopewell village - a missing link for Hopewell sites in Wisconsin. Finding a village is no small feat, Mr. Birmingham adds, since finds so far suggest small scattered farming hamlets of a few families, rather than larger villages associated with more modern groupings of native Americans. Step 1 was to look for habitable sites that have remained relatively undisturbed. Stoltman came across a low ridge along the Mississippi where erosion and local wildlife had turned up bits of artifacts. "Groundhogs are helpful prospectors," he chuckles. By the end of last year's digging season - seven years and some 64 cubic meters of dirt after he'd begun - "we finally knew what we had, a major burial site" from the Hopewell period, he says. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Wisconsin Pit Opens a Wide Window on Early Midwestern Culture Archaeologists Also Discover Links between Two Prehistoric Peoples
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.