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Aztalan State Park, Lake Mills

3.6
#39 of 46 in Historic Sites in Wisconsin
Ruin State Park
Aztalan State Park is a Wisconsin state park in the Town of Aztalan, Jefferson County, Wisconsin at latitude N 43° 4' and longitude W 88° 52'. Established in 1952, it was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1964 and added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1966. The park covers 172 acres (0.7 km2 or 70 ha) along the Crawfish River.Aztalan is the site of an ancient Mississippian culture settlement that flourished during the 10th to 13th centuries. The indigenous people constructed massive earthwork mounds for religious and political purposes. They were part of a widespread culture with important settlements throughout the Mississippi River valley and its tributaries. Their trading network extended from the Great Lakes to the Gulf Coast, and into the southeast of the present-day United States.Pre-history (900–1300)Aztalan was first settled around 900 by a Native American culture known as the Middle Mississippian Tradition. The chief center of a Middle Mississippian settlement is at Cahokia, in present-day Illinois, a city that at its peak had 20,000-30,000 people. This was not surpassed by Europeans in North America until after 1800. These settlements are characterized by the construction of mounds, stockades, and houses, by decorated Mississippian culture pottery and agricultural practices. There are also elements of the Woodland culture found here.
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
48 reviews
Google
4.4
TripAdvisor
  • The park could stand more attention from the state, but the site itself, with its mounds and replicas of some of the construction of the Mississipian Indian culture, is fascinating. A little trailer h...  more »
  • Admittedly, I'm biased as an enthusiast of all things ancient and Native, but I found this park to be fascinating! I had the place to myself on a weekday summer morning--just me and 3 archaeologists w...  more »
  • I was listening to NPR the other day and the speaker mentioned tours of an archeological dig at Aztalan State Park. I had never heard of the park or the Native Americans who i habited the area. There ...  more »
Google
  • Was really muddy, due to the season and high water. It would be cool to see some of the relics they have found.
  • Very interesting place, smaller than I had expected. You can see why the natives wanted a village here. This is worth a drive if you're near Madison.
  • I love to visit and ponder this ancient cosmopolitan city, which brought together the Cahokian people from the south with the Woodland people of Wisconsin. We have a lot to learn and respect from this beautiful place.
  • Medieval Wisconsin=Aztec Pyramids? I'm glad I did a little research about the site's history before I went. It prepared me to realized what I was looking at. It was facinating to be able to walk around a dozen conical Native American mounds and then go into an ancient city with partially reconstruced stockade. You don't have to go to Egpyt to see pyramids, you can do that in Wisconsin! There are two mostly restored two-tier ziggurats you can walk up on on stairs and another minor pyramid which still gives a good view. Located along the Crawfish River, you'll be able to see and hear a lot of the local wildlife at Aztalan.
  • It was a really nice place to walk around and learn about. Saw a couple of cranes while being there, as well as plenty of fish splashing in the water! Do recommend going there with family just to do something.

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