June 30, 2013

Aztalan Effigy Mounds

The mysterious ancient Indian settlement located in Aztalan Wisconsin, dating to around 1,300 CE reminds archaeology of how complex and strange history can be. Some researchers believe a Mississippian culture once lived here before abandoning the site due to lack of resources, by examining artifacts discovered on site. However, no written language or legends of Aztalan have been passed down throughout the ages to give us a better understanding of who they really were. According to local history, farmers plowed over the land for years before its discovery.

One of the most striking facts about visiting Aztalan is how much the effigy mounds resemble step pyramid construction, though it's important to note stone steps seen in the image were later added during site restoration. Even the site's discoverer, Timothy Johnson mistook the site for having an Aztec influence. These flat top mounds are said to be part of ceremonial practices, possibly even to house a sacred fire at each end of the settlement. Located on the Crawfish river bank, Aztalan once was a heavily fortified area with what appeared to be wood stockade walls and several watchtowers surrounding the area. The stockades appear to be related to a Mississippian site near St. Louis, called Cahokia. In the early 1950's survey work helped establish the stockade path which was later rebuilt using discarded telephone poles.

Several effigy and burial mounds are located this general area of Wisconsin, ranging in size and shape, dotting the kettle moraine. One of these mounds stands apart from the rest and is considered to be possibly the strangest mystery of the Aztalan fort. Deemed the Princess Burial, human remains were discovered with nearly 2,000 clam shell beads, some of which came from as far away as the Gulf Coast. It gets stranger, though. In the same area, not far from the main fortification, remains with distinct characteristics of an ancient Woodland Culture were discovered near Lake Delavan and Lake Mills. The skeletons here appear to be giant-like humans with some reported as tall as 10 feet with equally proportionate bone girth.  Some believe these skeletons are proof of giants described by ancient cultures and in the Bible, though conclusive proof has yet to be placed on the table. Anthropologists argue the remains may have appeared to be giants due to soil shifting and settling which causes the bones to spread apart slowly over time.

June 21, 2013

The Ultimate Question

Contemplation of the day: 

Eventually we may ask ourselves the question, why? It's inevitable for a single, three letter word to help us discover more information about past events. The seed festering inside our subconscious patiently waiting to blossom through our curiosities, forever twisting and rooting deeply until an acceptable answer is found. It truly becomes the driving factor, we want to know why for everything, it's engraved in our DNA.

Modern science tends to compare life of today to our past for explanation, after all, we're a living example of what we once were. Then by that rule, our ancestors must have followed similar paths, constantly asking why. Just as we are fixated on the heavens today, so were our distant relatives, believing in an hierarchy beginning from gods and beings not of Earth. Why is the ultimate question a hash? The term attempts to encompass every possible answer, every possible possibility. Asking the question why might very well be mankind's original attempt at basic quantum physics, for there is a multitude of answers to one question, a hash of explanation.

This sometimes faces the ultimate retort, why not? Turning a primitive question of exploration into a psychological battle of understanding our existence beyond that of any conscious awareness. We may ask why is it our ancestors chose gods to believe in above other people. Were they really visited by extraterrestrials deserving of appropriate placement in the heavens, or did they believe certain individuals in ancient societies possessed ultimate abilities worthy of god-like status? Actually, it's not that uncommon in present time as some people worship and idolize celebrities - This is one explanation in the hash, but we know it's not the only one. Perhaps understanding the answer to why is understanding the answer of what we choose to believe.