The Ancient Fortress Village of Aztalan (Wisconsin)
Fortress village of Aztalan was first
discovered by settlers in the early part of the 1800's when they settled
in the lands near the Crawfish River. Aztalan had been deserted
for many centuries by the time these settlers arrived and few understood
what they had found. Aztalan and the ancient people who lived
within its walls remained shrouded in mystery for nearly two centuries.
As archeologists began to peel back the veil of time, it was determined
that Aztalan thrived between A.D. 1000 and 1300.
The people of Aztalan built large flat topped pyramidal mounds upon
which they erected temples and homes for shamans and high officials. They also
created mounds that served as burials for the dead. Around the
entire village complex they constructed a wooden stockade. The
stockade walls were very likely covered over with a mud-based plaster to
protect it somewhat from fire and other hazards. At various
intervals along the stockade there were watch towers, presumably for
It is theorized that the people of Aztalan
may have shared in the cultural traditions associated with
large Mississippian period settlement that once existed near
Collinsville, Illinois. It has also been theorized that Aztalan
was a satellite village and trading partner with Cahokia.
There has been much speculation as to why the people of Aztalan
disappeared. The archeological evidence points to a difficult and
violent time period where warfare over resources, human sacrifice, and
cannibalism were common place. Fragmentary human bones excavated
at the site bear numerous cut-marks indicative of butchering.
Considerable quantities of these human remains were found in the ancient
garbage pits, mixed in with the remains of other food sources and
discarded pottery. It has been
assumed that individuals being killed and eaten were war captives.
There are some (sensitive types) who dispute this evidence and offer
that it is not solid proof that cannibalism actually occurred.
Regardless of the acceptance of that evidence, it should also be
considered that many engraved human bone artifacts have been found that
were worn as charms or talismans. It was a brutal time!
The reconstructed stockade of
Aztalan looking from within the village compound. The mounds on
the horizon are burial mounds.
one of the most important archaeological sites in the State of
Aztalan is situated in south eastern Wisconsin about 50 miles to the
west of the modern city of Milwaukee. Aztalan is a Wisconsin
State Park and is open to the public. Visitors must purchase a
Wisconsin State Park vehicle sticker to enter the park.
Visit the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources for details.
Visit Dr. Von Zuko's Time-Warp Museum
Article by Dr. Von Zuko 2007©