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Fluted Axe

Fluted Axe

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Published by Vincent Barrows

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Published by: Vincent Barrows on May 03, 2012
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THEFLUTEDAXE
ByGaleV. HighsmithAuthor,ndPublisher2825S.BurrellStreetMilwaukee,l 53207Privatelyrinted orThePublisher yPalmer ublications.nc.P.O.Box296Amherst.Wl 54406
 
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Copyright1985GaleV. Highsmith2825S.BurrellStreetMilwaukee,Wl53207AllRightsReservedLibraryfCongressCatalogNumber:5-090966ISBN: -91012-82-2
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The Aztalanccupantsavebeensuggestedsthemakersof flutedaxes.Aztalan sa 17 acre walledcityorstockade n the Westbank of the CrawfishRiverabout ive milesup fromitsjunctionwith theRockRivert Jefferson ear hecenter f Jeffersono.ThesepeoplewereoriginallyelievedohavebeenAztecs romMexicoorfartherSouth.Theprevailingthoughts that heycamehereby way of theRock Riverfromhe CahokiaettlementearEastSt.Louis.Flutedaxeshavebeen ound nand nearhe walledarea whichissomeustificationortheconsideration.But, heperiodofoccupationsbelievedy someo dateforonlya brief imearoundAD 1100-1200,hichsmuchooecentnd ooshort timespano warrantur-therconsiderationow.However, hesubjectwill bediscussedtgreaterengthna subsequenthapter.Thereconstructionf Aztalanhownonthepreviouspageisbasedon excavationdata from thesite.Asearch ailedo revealheartists ame.TheEtfigyMoundBuildersreavoredsthemakersof the flutedaxebyamajorityof the fewwho haveexpressed n opinion.With theexceptionfthe verypopularOhio erpentmound ndafewexamples xtendingacross hestateine into lowaand lllinois, heseanimal-shapedarthworksreuniqueto outhern iscon-sin.Linearmoundsaregenerallyonsideredo beofthesame ulture sheanimal hapedmounds. heconi-calsor domedmounds,hough requently ccupyingiteswith theeffigies,aveamuchbroaderdistributionndmay have beensimplyacovering r memorialor thedeparted. he Wisconsinonicals ange nsize rom 10feetindia. by 1Vz eel highupto 70feet indiameterby 25feethigh.They appear n lineargroupings,parallelingstream nd occasionallyispersedmongor at one end of aneffigygroup.Theeffigiesmayrepresent urtles, heprofileof bear,deer, wolf,buffalo,panther,r birds with wingsextendedas inflight.The heightof effigy mounds susuallyonlyone tofourfeet, but their length makesupfortheirweakness n height.Deer,bear,wolf andbuffaloaretheshortest;urtles, rom headto tip of tailandthewingspanof birds range oseveralhundred eet,withtadpoles,anthersnd linearsapproaching000eet nlength.Burialsor artifactsmay be foundat alocationintheheador atthe heartoftheanimal,but frequentlythemoundssterile.l.A.Lapham, ho devoted fewyearsbefore ndafter1850o surveyingndstudyingff gymounds,ommentedontheirpurposenaround-aboutay. ncommentingonflutedaxes hestated-"The use orpurposeof theflutes sas mysterious s that of theeffigy mounds."Lapham's orkswereublishedn1855y heSmithsonianInstitutionnderhe title Antiquitiesf Wisconsin.Theseffigymoundsmay ave ad ome eligiousrmagicsignificance,r,ike he ombs n thepyramidsf Egypt,theywere constructed s a burialplaceoranindividualorfamily,butneverneeded.thas beensuggestedhatthey werea clan ortribe totem;butitdoesn'tseem
logical hatso many different otemdesignswouldoccupyonesite,as is thecase insome instances,nviewoftheestimated imited timespan ofTheEffigy MoundCulture.Manysites,however,containseveralexamplesol only oneortwodifferentanimalor bird species.Robert Ulrichof Mayville,a studentofthesubject,furnished thesedates. Theculture beganca400 AD,reachedHoricona700AD.and. ince tshowsno evidenceofthewhite man, was terminatedpriorto 1600 AD.Thetime span is more frequentlyplacedat 700ADto 1300AD.Moundsof all types may havenumbered o5,000ormorewithin thestate.Thedistributionmapshownhereisfromthe Wisconsin Archeologist,ol.5,No.3-4,1906,A Recordof WisconsinAntiquitiesyCharlesE. Brown.Asingledome representsdomedor conicalmound, dotabovehedome signifiedn etfigymound,andtwooiningdomes representgroupof mounds.Asinglegroupmaynumber nexcessof 100earthworks,andmanygroupsarenot representedon the map. RobertUlrich reports thatDr. IncreaseA. Lapham,who fortunately n 1850& 1851surveyedhundredsof mounds nDodgeCo., orsome un-known reason missedheextensiveareaEastof the marsh, which includesone of the largestnumbersof effigyandotherypesof mounds nWisconsin.MostofhoseLaphammissed weresurveyedonehundredyearsater by Dr. E.G.Bruderof Milwaukee,ca 1951. Copiesof some ofhissketchesare shown as representativemoundgroups.Much houghtand searchingwas directed owarda clueas to the reason or theopinionshattheeffigymoundbuilders made the fluted axesotherthanthe beliefthatboth belong to thelateWoodlandphase.Noflutedaxe has been ound n a mound,and apparently o inkhasbeen establishedbetween the etfigy moundbuilders andgroovedaxesof anytype. Bothcoiled and crawlingeffigyserpentsadornhe flutedaxes,but thisauthorsunawareof effigy mounds of either shape in Wisconsin.Twoflutedspud-like effigiesare known, 107&719, which, fnot for theircharacteristic serpent type head,could belikened to the linear or tadoole earthworks.Distribution-wise, there issomeresemblance.Thefluted axe territoryis a near rectangulararea withGreenBayon theNorthandMadisononthe West.Effigymounds extendWestwardto theMississippi,ver some territorywhere flutedaxesare not found. But, theyextendNorthwardonly to theNorth endof LakeWinnebago.Effigiesare abundantin the Horicon-Mayville flutedaxefocus;but,ontheother side of thepicture,they are completely ackingin theGreenBayandTwo Riversluted axe foci.So,inspite of the belief in that direction, herehasbeenlittle indication that thebuilders of theeffigymounds were theproducersofthe flutedaxe.However,alittle logic could, but not necessarilywould, inverselyrelate he twoculturesn the followingmanner.Supposethat the fluted axe was aprotectivespiritual deity ora sort oftotemendowed withpowertoinsureagroup,clan,ortribea choice blindin the happy huntinggrounds.Someone had a vision orpremonitionhat theyshould beusingthe imageof an animalinsteadof the fluted axe.A vigorousspiritualreformation ollowed-TheFlutedAxe People made he EffigyMounds.

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