Topics Map > UW-Madison -- General Information
American Indian Burial Mounds On Campus
firstname.lastname@example.org -- General Inquiries
(608) 265-9275 -- Laura Wyatt, Program Manager and general Inquiries and comments
(608) 263-3023 -- Gary Brown, Director
(608) 220-5560 -- Bryn Scriver, Volunteer and Outreach Coordinator
(608) 220-3482 -- Adam Gundlach, Field Projects Coordinator
30 North Mills St.
Madison, WI 53715
There are three areas of campus with American Indian burial mounds or effigies. These landmarks are beautiful pieces of history for everyone to see.At the top of Observatory Hill, west of the UW Observatory, there is a bird mound and a turtle effigy. Both over 500 years old, these mounds are the only two remaining from an original group of four. There are plaques at the top of the hill containing a brief history of the mounds, and how to see them.
Three more mounds are located behind the Natatorium on Willow Drive. One is a goose mound and the others were said to be effigy mounds, but because of the construction of Willow Drive, they are undefinable. One more conical mound near the Frederick Center is also considered part of this group.
Five mounds are visible near the tip of Picnic Point while following the southerly pedestrian path. This group is made up of two linear mounds and three conical mounds. There used to be more mounds in this group, but because of farming, they were destroyed.
(This information was collected from "Native American Mounds in Madison and Dane County," written by Robert A. Birmingham and Katherine H. Rankin, and published by the City of Madison and the Native American Center.)
To schedule a private group tour at the UW-Arboretum: https://arboretum.wisc.edu/learn/tours/. These 1000-year-old effigy and burial mounds invite discussion of the woodland Indians that built them and of the woodlands and wetlands that provided these early Americans their sustenance. Scheduled as a 1.5 hour tour.