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closure was heavily palisaded on three sides, and possibly along the river bank as well.1 Such palisaded Indian villages were not unknown in the Wisconsin region in historic times. The Mascouten village is mentioned by Father Dablon as being palisaded, and in 1716 the Foxes shut themselves up within a triple palisade when besieged by the French. With the possibility that the palisades followed the curved line formed by the "bastions," an outlook could be provided that would prevent a skulking foe from approaching the walls. Many arguments have been advanced to show that the "buttressed" earthwork is elsewhere unknown in Wisconsin, and therefore these aboriginal builders must have been an unknown but distinct race of people. The facts do not warrant this conclusion. The Aztalan embankments are only a variation of the chain mounds, or embankments with incorporated mounds at intervals, that are found occasionally in other parts of our state. A striking example of this type of embankment is found in the town of Taycheedah, Fond du Lac County, where a series of embankments nearly two hundred feet long have circular expansions at intervals that form perfect mounds incorporated with the embankments. This unique group of earthworks was described in detail by the writer in his "Fond du Lac County Antiquities," published in the Wisconsin Archeologist for April, 1915. These mounds and embankments, still undisturbed, are located in a dense thicket on the east side of and contiguous to the concrete highway known as the Winnebago Trail.
After Lapham's survey of the Aztalan site in 1850, no important contribution was made to our knowledge until within the present century. Amateur investigators con
1A tract of land along the road front of the Aztalan site, about three and one-half acres in extent, has been purchased by Jefferson County. Much of the money expended in acquiring it has been raised by the school children of the county. This tract contains eight large conical mortuary and ceremonial mounds—all that now remain of a former long line of such earthworks. In 1923 this land, now known as "Aztalan Mound Park," was deeded by the county to the Wisconsin Archeological Society and is now being maintained as a state park.
tinued to excavate in haphazard and unscientific ways, and then to publish in newspapers and magazines their more or less fanciful theories. Many implements, weapons, ornaments, and pottery fragments were unearthed and are now widely scattered in public and private collections. It is worthy of note that none of these minor antiquities indicate a higher stage of culture than do the artifacts from other localities in Wisconsin. Indeed, it can probably be stated as a fact that the most artistic and beautifully finished types of Wisconsin prehistoric weapons and ornaments have not been duplicated by any finds within the Aztalan enclosure.
During all the years from 1840 to 1920 the process of demolition and mutilation of these earthworks, by both the farmer's plow and the excavator's spade, went on apace. In 1838 Edward Everett asked President Van Buren to withdraw from sale the section of land on which the ruins are located. He could arouse no sentiment in favor of his recommendation, and it is said that the site was sold by the government for twenty-two dollars.
In 1907 George A. West, of Milwaukee, published in the Wisconsin Archeologist a lengthy article to prove that Aztalan and other similar antiquities of Wisconsin were the work of the ancestors of the American Indians found in the Mississippi Valley when the white men first came there. He discredited the theory that Aztalan was constructed as a religious center or rallying place for the Indian tribes on ceremonial occasions, and concluded that it was an ordinary fortified Indian village, possibly the seat of government of some powerful tribe. Even the cannibalism of the ancient inhabitants, a fact on which all investigators seem to agree, was shown to be a not unusual practice among the Wisconsin Indians during the early historic period, the Winnebago man-eaters being specifically mentioned in the Jesuit Relations. West believed the so-called temple mounds in the enclosure to be the "high places" on which were built the huts of the chiefs or head men of the tribe. He quotes
freely from many different authorities to show similar deductions in the case of other antiquities.
Dr. S. A. Barrett, of the Milwaukee Public Museum, during 1919 and 1920 undertook extensive excavations on the Aztalan site, but the full account of his investigations has not been published as yet. From his addresses and newspaper interviews it appears that Dr. Barrett disagrees with Mr. West as to the origin and aboriginal use of these earthworks, and favors the contention of Lapham that the mounds and embankments were constructed and used for ceremonial purposes. This latest investigation was conducted carefully and thoroughly, and it is not probable that future work on the site, even if undertaken, will add greatly to the present knowledge of the location and its structure. Dr. Barrett could find no evidences of rotted wood in the embankment, and therefore concluded that palisades had never been planted around the enclosure for defensive purposes. This does not preclude the possibility that blockhouses or similar structures of wood formerly occupied the summits of the earthworks, and if these were roofed and chinked with clay, and later burned by accident or design, it would account for the burned clay or so-called "brick" found in and about the enclosure. Deep in the large mounds, Dr. Barrett found the decayed remains of huge posts surrounded by cairns of stone for added support. Some of the posts were twelve to sixteen feet below the top of the mounds, and undoubtedly reached far above them before time and the elements caused these posts to disappear. Dr. Barrett believed these to be ceremonial poles, or possibly totems.
Like all the earlier investigators, Dr. Barrett found abundant evidences of cannibalism. Human arm and leg bones, crushed and split so that the marrow could be extracted, were found in quantities. Human ribs and skulls, chopped into small pieces so that they could be placed in the cooking kettles, were also noted. Mingled with these
were found animal and fish bones, indicating that these aboriginal epicures used a diversified diet.
Summing up the results of the several investigations covering the Aztalan site, it is probable that the following deductions will approximate the facts:
The ruins were occupied by aborigines at two different periods a very early period estimated at one thousand years ago, and a comparatively late period evidenced by finding intrusive articles of European manufacture. The later Indian inhabitants were probably Winnebago.
The weapons, implements, and pottery fragments found in the vicinity do not differ greatly from those found in other localities, and it cannot be claimed that even the earlier inhabitants differed in culture from the other tribes that occupied Wisconsin at the same period.
The site was strongly fortified, the embankments supporting blockhouses or other similar structures of wood, massively built and well defended. A double wall of wood extended along the river front. This was divided by crosspartitions into rooms. There is evidence that one or more log buildings formerly stood within the enclosure.
The people subsisted on fish, game, and river mussels, and more or less frequently on the flesh and marrow of human beings. It is probable that they had corn fields in the immediate vicinity, and that they also grew such other vegetable foods as were known to the prehistoric Wisconsin Indians.
While the village was fortified and regularly inhabited, it is not improbable that it was used as a gathering place of some powerful tribe which congregated there at intervals for ceremonial worship. The regular inhabitants may have been the custodians of the sacred place. Whatever its purpose, it represents an almost incalculable amount of manual labor, especially when one reflects that it was done without mechanical appliances.
LETITIA WALL, A WISCONSIN PIONEER TYPE
Southwestern Wisconsin, including the celebrated lead region and the territory adjacent as far as the Wisconsin and Mississippi rivers, attracted a good many settlers from the south and the southwest. The lead-bearing lands were occupied early, the remainder considerably later. But the emigration from the south once started, it continued to flow, though with diminished volume, till the Civil War brought it to a full stop.
The valleys of Blue River and Fennimore Creek near their junction received some pioneer settlers early in the 1850's, and among these were four or five families derived from North Carolina by way of Missouri. Two of them were families of the brothers Tillman and Alpheus Wall. Tillman, being a man of energy, pluck, and resourcefulness, soon cleared and improved a large farm and became a prosperous, respected citizen. His family now has numerous representatives in other parts of Wisconsin and in adjacent states. Alpheus was a man of different type, yet with characteristics resembling those of his older brother. He was intelligent and of good appearance and address. Yet, to use his own phrase, he was usually "somehow or other, no 'count." Perhaps it was the hookworm, possibly it was a tubercular affection which sapped his vitality. At all events, "no 'count" he was, so far as productive labor went, aside from the moderate success he had as an habitual, devoted angler. But even this activity was never pursued at a distance from home, and the little branch of Fennimore Creek which meandered through the Wall meadow (for Alpheus lived in a log house on his brother's farm) was insufficiently stocked with brook trout to yield more than an occasional breakfast.
There was obviously no money in the family, and under these circumstances Alpheus Wall must have been a dependent upon his brother or upon the public (unless, as some suspected, his illness was psychological and might have been cured by dire