The Mississippi Civilizations

300 BC-1300 AD


The Anasazi civillization constructed dams, canals, and ditches to capture rain on top of mesa and the channel on to the gardens on the canyon floor. The houses were made of stone and adobe, they had multiple stories, and were similar to an apartment on the walls of the plazas or cliffs. There was a massive complex with more than 1000 people living there in Pueblo Bonito in Chaco Canyon, the "Heart of Civilization." They built roads made for trading networks from Pueblo Bonito. Pottery, woven baskets, and turquoise jewelry were made by craftsmen. Late groups like Zuni and Hopi, the largest Pueblo groups in the world today, were heavily influenced by architecture and art. They probably left because of the many droughts they had in the area.

Adena and Hopewell

Adena lived in the Ohio valley region where they grew, barley, sunflowers, gourds, and squash. They made incredible copper jewelry and pottery, as well as complex burial mounds made of dirt covered logs.

The Hopewell made it to Ohio valley at about 300 BC where they built 40 foot high 100 foot wide mounds. They are thought to have had a large trading system. Both the Adena and the Hopewell were called the "mound builders."




The Mississippians arrived in the Mississippi valley around 800 AD.They had many different plants that they used as a food source, and when they began planting maize and beans, their population grew. This caused them to need more land to fill. They found more land that they created cities in that held up to 10,000 people. In the center of the largest city, Cahokia, there was a mound larger than the Pyramid of Giza surrounded by about 120 smaller mounds.