University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology

Through December 2, 2019

You might be familiar with some of the more famous monuments around the globeā€”the Great Pyramids in Egypt; Stonehenge in England; Machu Picchu in Peru. But did you know we have our own impressive monuments right here in the United States? Some even older than the pyramids, these spectacular earthworks give us glimpses into more than 5,000 years of Native North American history. Moundbuilders explores the fascinating story of Native American moundbuilding through a variety of photographs, artifacts, archival materials, and excavation records.


Parts of the Museum are currently under renovation, impacting accessibility. For visitors with wheelchairs and strollers, please use the Group (Kress) Entrance for this gallery. To plan your visit, please click here.

In Moundbuilders you will discover:

Fish bones

Insights into moundbuilders through the items they discard

Underwater Panther Figurine

A mythical creature that played an important role in Eastern Native American religion


Hints left in the iconography of Mississippian pottery about the myths and stories of their creators

Photo of Earthwork

Beautiful photographs documenting these massive earthworks

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