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By Robert A. Birmingham

A accomplished evaluation of the Indian mounds of Wisconsin, discussing who equipped the mounds, and while and why they have been outfitted. It makes use of proof drawn from archaeology, ethnography, ethnohistory, linguistics, and the traditions and ideology of present-day local americans within the Midwest.

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27 The Smithsonian Institution had come to the same conclusion and refused to publish Pidgeon’s manuscript after he oVered it. But as a commercial publication, the book became a big hit with the public and eventually gained some respectability even among a few uncritical scholars. A later mound surveyor, Theodore H. Lewis, a fellow believer in a Lost Race, located some of the 26 Speculation, Excavation, Explanation mounds that Pidgeon had discussed and illustrated, and talked to some of the people who had known Pidgeon.

He served as the president of the State Historical Society of Wisconsin from 1862 to 1871. (State Historical Society of Wisconsin, neg. no. 25 The book is fantasy on an epic scale, but Pidgeon was a compelling writer and used a device known to modern writers of pseudoscientiWc literature: he wove just enough fact into his Wction to appear credible. The Wrst part of the book is a collection of concocted evidence that purports to demonstrate pre-Columbian visits by just about all the usual Lost Race suspects, including Egyptians, Greeks, Romans, and Persians.

35 For Thomas and the Bureau of Ethnology, there was no question about the real identity of the mound builders. Beginning as a believer in a Lost Race, Thomas was won over to the other side by several lines of evidence, all of which he presented in a lengthy conclusion to his book. This information included historical accounts of Native American mound building, especially in the South, and Native American oral traditions of mound building, although they are from second- and third-hand sources. Drawing on evidence from his extensive excavations, Thomas oVered a series of proofs derived from the similarity of types of burials found in many mounds to observed burial customs of contemporary Native Americans.

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