Animal Carvings from Mounds of the Mississippi Valley

"Turkey Buzzard," from Squier and Davis.

The considerable degree of decorative and artistic skill attained by the so-called Mound-Builders, as evidenced by many of the relics that have been exhumed from the mounds, has not failed to arrest the attention of arch├Žologists. Among them, indeed, are found not a few who assert for the people conveniently designated as above a degree of artistic skill very far superior to that attained by the present race of Indians as they have been known to history. In fact, this very skill in artistic design, asserted for the Mound-Builders, as indicated by the sculptures they have left, forms an important link in the chain of argument upon which is based the theory of their difference from and superiority to the North American Indian.