Moundbuilders: Ancient Architects of North America opened on June 24, 2017 at the Penn Museum. This exhibition tells the story of the 5,000-year-old practice of mound construction in Native North America. Using photographs, archival records, and artifacts excavated at mound sites throughout the eastern United States, Moundbuilders demonstrates that you do not need a passport to see extraordinary and ancient monuments. Some older than the pyramids in Egypt and others towering ten stories above the floodplain of the Mississippi River, these marvels of engineering have played important roles in the religious and ceremonial lives of Native people for millennia. This exhibition explores these monuments, the people that made them, and the archaeological projects that have helped us understand the long history of the practice.

Photo of mound
Mound B from atop Mound A (Great Temple Mound),
Etowah Mounds, Near Cartersville, Georgia. L-2016-3-18. Photograph by Tom Patton.
PHoto of mound
Seip Mound, Near Bainbridge, Ohio. L-2016-3-7. Photograph by Tom Patton.
photo of mound
Shackelford Church Mound. L-2016-4-13. Photograph
by Jenny Ellerbe.

photos of objects
Human effigy vessel, 1200–1500 CE, PM object 11586;
Curved bannerstone, 1700–1000 BCE, PM object 10967; Underwater
panther boatstone, 700–1000 CE, PM object 14716.