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Indian Mounds Collection

Identifier: AC 64

Scope and Contents

The Beloit College campus features 20 conical, linear, and animal effigy mounds built between about AD 400 and 1200. One, in the form of a turtle, has inspired the symbol (and unofficial mascot) of the College. Similar mounds are found throughout southern Wisconsin and adjacent portions of surrounding states. They were built by Native Americans identified by archaeologists as Late Woodland people. These people may include ancestors of the Ho-Chunk (Winnebago) people and other tribes.

Wisconsin Indian mounds were usually built along bluff tops adjacent to rivers. The Beloit College group illustrates this pattern, as it is situated on high ground overlooking the confluence of the Rock River and Turtle Creek. Early maps indicate more than 20,000 Indian mounds once existed in Wisconsin. Today, fewer than 3000 remain, the others having been destroyed by farming and development. The Beloit College group once totaled 25 mounds; five were leveled unfortunately by building and grounds projects many decades ago. See the 2003 Beloit College Magazine article by Logan Museum of Anthropology director Bill Green for details on the history, study, and preservation of the College mounds.

Source: Logan Museum of Anthropology web site.


  • 1857-2005


0.21 Linear Feet (1 box)

Language of Materials



This small collection deals with the Indian mounds on the grounds of Beloit College through correspondence, journal articles, and student reports regarding their study, maintenance, and cultural significance. There are also published maps and pamphlets describing the mounds and their contexts.

Related Materials

Logan Museum of Anthropology (AC 72)

Indian Mounds Collection
Michelle Tom
May, 2012
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Repository Details

Part of the Beloit College Archives and Special Collections, Beloit, WI Repository

700 College St.
Beloit WI 53511 USA