Date of Award

May 2013

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science



First Advisor

John D. Richards

Committee Members

Robert J. Jeske, Thomas E. Emerson


Aztalan, Cahokia, Middle Mississippian, Mound, Wisconsin Archaeology


By the start of the 12th century A.D., the Aztalan site in southeastern Wisconsin was home to Middle Mississippian immigrants from the south and local Late Woodland residents. The amalgamated population coexisted, maintained defensive works, and constructed earthen monuments in the spirit of Middle Mississippian mound construction. One mound, located within the domestic complex of the site in the northeast corner of the palisaded area, was the focus of Wisconsin Historical Society excavations during the 1960s. This thesis utilizes the unreported results of these investigations to highlight the social implication resulting from the prehistoric construction of Aztalan's northeast platform mound. Results demonstrate the Late Woodland sub-mound space was transformed into a Middle Mississippian monument not by means of coercion or cooptation, but rather through socially integrative practices creating a space that symbolized a new pluralistic community unique to Aztalan and the multiple social groups involved.