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Proceedings Paper

GPR investigation of the West Prairie Mound Group, central Wisconsin, USA: are they burial mounds or natural landforms?
Author(s): N. B. Kloehn; M. B. Junck; Harry M. Jol; G. L. Running; D. Greek; K. Caldwell
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Paper Abstract

Ground penetrating radar (GPR) investigations were conducted to determine the origin of the West Prairie Mound Group. The mound group consists of thirteen low, conical, earthen mounds within Fort McCoy (central Wisconsin). Historically interpreted as PreColumbian Native American burial mounds, mounting evidence to the contrary suggests a natural origin for the mounds (e.g. no archaeological material recovered from within or near the mounds, mounds located where morphologically similar natural landforms are common, and the mounds are identified as natural landforms in local Native American oral tradition). Even so, U.S. Federal antiquities laws prohibit disturbance of these mounds and investigations to determine their true origin are limited to non-invasive techniques. Non-invasive, high resolution GPR survey methods were utilized to address the research problem. Mounds B and K were selected for detailed GPR surveys. In both cases, observed GPR reflection patterns are consistent with sandy, eolian geomorphic units common in the mound area. Moreover, no reflection patterns typical of burial disturbance or cultural practices were observed in either mound. Therefore, our analysis of Mounds B and K GPR data strongly supports the emerging interpretation that the West Prairie Mound Group is the result of natural rather than cultural processes.

Paper Details

Date Published: 27 April 2000
PDF: 6 pages
Proc. SPIE 4084, Eighth International Conference on Ground Penetrating Radar, (27 April 2000); doi: 10.1117/12.383485
Show Author Affiliations
N. B. Kloehn, Univ. of Wisconsin/Eau Claire (United States)
M. B. Junck, Univ. of Wisconsin/Eau Claire (United States)
Harry M. Jol, Univ. of Wisconsin/Eau Claire (United States)
G. L. Running, Univ. of Wisconsin/Eau Claire (United States)
D. Greek, Fort McCoy Army Reserve (United States)
K. Caldwell, Fort McCoy Army Reserve (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 4084:
Eighth International Conference on Ground Penetrating Radar
David A. Noon; Glen F. Stickley; Dennis Longstaff, Editor(s)

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