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Friends of Aztalan State Park Awarded $20,000 Stewardship Grant

Friends News Letter is BACK!

by Dan Seurer


Calendar 2014

Some of our events are in the finalization stage. Please visit this site again for our finalized calendar.


June 21, 6:30 Summer Solstice: Seasonal  movements of the sun were important in the religious beliefs of the ancient Mississippian people. Archaeologist Dr. Timothy Pauketat at 7:30 PM will present information from his new book An Archaeology of the Cosmos which examines evidence for astronomical observation, including lunar cycles, at the Mississippian capital city of Cahokia in southern Illinois and the relationship of  such observations to Mississippian religion. Dr. Pauketat, an authority on the Mississippian culture, is the author of scholarly articles and books on the topic. Autographed copies of his new book will be available for purchase. View the sunset (weather permitting) from the Northwest platform mound where a large burial structure stood oriented to the summer and winter solstices, symbolic of the cycle of death and rebirth of the world. Snacks and beverages at the park shelter. Program is free but a Wisconsin State Park sticker (either day or annual) is required but can be purchased at the park. Donations for the construction of  planned new visitor center at Aztalan is most welcomed.  More information call  Executive Director Bob Birmingham at (608) 516-3421.


July 6, Aztalan Day: In conjunction with the Lake Mills-Aztalan Historical Society annual Aztalan Day festival, the Friends of Aztalan State Park will host Aztalan Day at the Park from 11:00 AM to 4:00 PM.

11:00 AM- 4:00 PM: Demonstrations of the ancient hunting weapon, a spear thrower or atlatl. The public will be invited to particpate.

1:00 PM: Special site tour led by Increase Lapham who produced the first accurate map of the site in 1855. The role of Lapham is played by Lapham scholar, Rob Nurre. The tour will begin at the upper parking lot at the park entrance.

All events are free, but a Wisconsin State Park sticker is needed for each vehicle; they can be purchased at the park.


July, Native American Event: Date TBD. Ho Chunk Dancers and Drummers at Aztalan.


August-Native American Event: Date TBD. Young Native American singers, dancers, and drummer from the Indian Community School, Milwaukee WI.


Aug 14, Kids Day at Aztalan (Thursday) An event during the week for kids, Native American Crafts for Kids. Dream Catchers Craft Event.


Please donate to the Aztalan Interpretative Center.

Thank You for your support of Aztalan State Park!

For more information, contact Friends of Aztalan executive director, Bob Birmingham at 608-516-3421 or birmi@sbcglobal.net.

Park photos by Dan Seurer: SLIDE SHOW

Aztalan State Park is 2 miles off I-94 at Lake Mills, 1 hour from Milwaukee or Madison. Slide show photos by Dan Seuer. Check out his website http://seurer-photography.com

Group tours can be arranged for adults and schools. Call Bob Birmingham at (608) 241-4958 or email birmi@sbcglobal.net for more information.

Tours every Sunday at 2:00, May - Sept: Free guided tours, weather permitting. Wisconsin State Park sticker required.

Historical Summary

Aztalan State Park is the site of a ceremonial and residential Native American town established in 1100 AD (approximately). This site has provided insights into ancient agriculture and gardening.


While people lived along the Crawfish River in Wisconsin's Jefferson County before 900 A.D., the Mississippians arrived at ancient Aztalan between 1050 and 1100AD. They established a heirarchal society that was culturally exotic for the area.


The Mississippian people built earthen pyramids used by the religious and ruling leaders. The largest Mississippian site is Cahokia, located near St. Louis. Aztalan is the most northern outpost.


The Aztalan people built three earthern pyramids and a protective stockade complete with guard towers. Two of the pyramids and sections of the stockade are reconstructed.


In 1837 Nathaniel Hyer mapped the site and, believing that it was built by people from the ancient Mexican city of Aztalan, named the Wisconsin site Aztalan. Though it is now known that the inhabitants were not from Mexico the name of the site was not changed.


The Book by Bob Birmingham, Executive Manager of Friends of Aztalan, former Wisconsin state archeologist and Lynne Goldstein of Michigan State University.

See the video, purchased by the Friends of Aztalan to raise awareness of the historical uniqueness of Aztalan, and funds for an on-site visitor's interpretive center.


The charter of the Friends of Aztalan is to raise money to augment the state's budget for an Aztalan State Park Interpretive Center. In the spring of 2012 Friends of Aztalan State Park purchased the large office trailer which was used last year as an interim interpretive center. It provides information and books about the site and related places of interest in the region.

Questions, comments? Please contact us.

Join the Friends of Aztalan, by mail.

Join the Friends of Aztalan, securely on-line.

Site designed/developed by Marifrances A Cataldi


This website was developed and is maintained by the Friends of Aztalan State Park. We invite you to learn about the Mississippian culture from the information presented here and the links to other Mississippian sites that we found of interest.

Friends of Aztalan State Park

P.O Box 855

Lake Mills, WI 53551