What Is A Mound in Geography?

Kościuszko Mound in Kraków, Poland.
Kościuszko Mound in Kraków, Poland.

A heaped pile of sand, gravel, debris, earth, or rocks is known as a mound. Mounds form on earth most of the time. Particularly they appear artificial and include mountains and hills. On the surface side, it can be a topographically rounded area of higher elevation. Mounds are either formed naturally or artificially. Mounds are mostly located in Europe, Asia, and America. Some mounds are built as animals, which can be seen from an aerial view. Such mounds have different meanings known to people around them. Some artificial mounds were created for commemorative purposes, such as Poland's Kościuszko Mound, while others were created for ceremonial functions like the platform mound.

Types of Mounds

Subglacial Mound

Subglacial mounds are naturally occurring. They are caused by erupting lava trapped beneath an ice sheet or glacier too thick for the lava to melt through. Instead, the lava accumulates into a subglacial volcano. When the ice sheet retreats, it leaves uniquely shaped mounds in its wake. As subglacial mounds only occur in locations that featured both active volcanism and ice coverage, they are found only in Iceland, Antarctica and the Canadian province of British Columbia.

Burial Mounds

Various reasons have led to the creation of artificial mounds throughout history. The artificial hill which is related to burial customs in the Asian and European Archaeology is known as Tumulus. Tumulus mounds were mainly created for burial in some cultures such as the Adena culture. Other mounds like effigy mounds took unique shapes such as the outline of cosmologically significant animals.

Platform Mounds

Platform mounds are earthwork or structures constructed deliberately and elevated on the earth intended for a number of uses. These mounds may not be known as those used for burial but were meant for a number of uses. Some Native American mounds were used for sacred acts, rituals and other secular functions. Others supported the houses for chiefs, temples, council houses and were also used as a public speaking platform in the Mississippian culture. Others mounds were used for protection as defense walls to protect a particular area of people. Mounds are used by Hopewell culture to make complex astronomical alignments that were ceremony related. The naming of different mounds was dependent on the culture they come from.


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