Archaeological Tours

Effigy Mounds of the Upper Mississippi Valley

Sept 24-29, 2023

$2,095 per person ($395 single supplement)

In what is now the Upper Midwest, Native Americans constructed thousands of earthen mounds, more than in any other area of comparable size. We’ll visit the best surviving examples of these fascinating constructions, with an emphasis on sites of the Effigy Mound Culture, the characteristic moundbuilder culture of the region which created mounds in the shapes of mammals, birds, and reptiles.

View the schedule below. 

Lizard Mound3

Tour Schedule

Sunday, September 24th
Join us in Milwaukee for a welcoming reception and talk that introduces us to the archaeology of the Upper Midwest.

Monday, September 25th
We’ll begin our journey by heading northwest of Milwaukee to visit Lizard Mound State Park, a particularly well-preserved complex of effigy mounds. From there, we’ll journey westward to the Wisconsin Dells area. We will stop at the Indian Agency House at Portage and visit the Man Mound, a rare anthropomorphic effigy mound. From there we will visit the Kingsley Bend Mound Group which is owned and maintained by the Ho-Chunk Nation. We’ll spend the night near Wisconsin Dells.

Tuesday, September 26th
We’ll drive to Marquette, Iowa to visit Effigy Mounds National Monument with its complexes of monumental effigy mounds and breathtaking view of the Mississippi and Wisconsin River confluence. From there we will drive south to spend the night in the Tri-State area.

Gramercy 2

Wednesday, September 27th
The first stop of the day will be at Gramercy Park in East Dubuque to look at some of the largest Hopewell conical mounds in the Upper Mississippi Valley. From Gramercy we will travel to Casper Bluff Preserve which contains a mile long mound group above the Mississippi River. The last stop of the day will be the reconstructed 1832 Black Hawk War fort in Elizabeth before heading to Madison for the evening.

Thursday, September 28th
In the morning we will have a tour of the Wisconsin Historical Society Collections Center and a chance to view two ancient canoes recently found preserved in the waters of Lake Mendota. From there we will head to Lake Mills and Aztalan State Park, a Mississippian period mound and village center and Wisconsin’s most famous archaeological site. We’ll return to Milwaukee for the night and a farewell reception.

Friday, September 29th
Participants depart for home.

Cost includes first-class hotel accommodations based on double occupancy (single supplement is $395), lunches, happy hours, expert Conservancy and special guides, admittance fees, tips, tours, orientations, background reading, and surface travel via sir-conditioned bus with restroom.
Not included are meals other than lunches and travel to and from Milwaukee.
PLEASE NOTE: A modest amount of walking is required.

For more information about our upcoming tours, please email tours.tac@gmail.com or feel free to call us at (505) 266-1540.

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