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Aztalan State Park, Lake Mills
(3.4/5 based on 40 reviews on the web)
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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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • Every school student in Wisconsin should be required to visit Aztalan State park and learn about the Misissippian culture that inhabited Wisconsin. It's an amazing place and so interesting - sure to s...  more »
  • I took a group of German foreign exchange students to visit in mid-October. The Indian settlers who were here have been gone since about 1200 AD. But the burial mounds and replica fortress wall give t...  more »
  • Beautiful park and grounds. Museum somewhat disorganized, and there are items here that have little to do with the Native American history. A volunteer told me that documentation for many of the items...  more »
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  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Really lame idea for a park. First the white men, for whatever reason, tear down a huge Indian mound. Then they try to rebuild it exactly how it was using their earth moving machines. This would be like tearing down the Sistine Chapel only to replace it with a small wooden shack. And then there is a fence, like 20 feet long, which is supposed to show that there was a longer one that surrounded the place. Why not build one that would surround to really show what it looked like? And to top it all off, the place is mis-named because the white discoverer mistakingly thought it was the Aztec people from Mexico that lived there when it was a whole different tribe which is a slap in the face to them! So if you don't mind big and open boring spaces with not much to really see and a place that has been desecrated by white men, then this park is for you!
  • 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.