Although some Indigenous peoples of the Americas were traditionally hunter-gatherers—and many, especially in the Amazon basin, still are—many groups practiced aquaculture and agriculture. While some societies depended heavily on agriculture, others practiced a mix of farming, hunting and gathering. In some regions the Indigenous peoples created monumental architecture, large-scale organized cities, city-states, chiefdoms, states, kingdoms and empires. Some had varying degrees of knowledge of engineering, architecture, mathematics, astronomy, writing, physics, medicine, planting and irrigation, geology, mining, metallurgy, sculpture and goldsmithing. (Full article...)
Since the 19th century, the prevailing scholarly consensus has been that the mounds were constructed by indigenous peoples of the Americas. Sixteenth-century Spanish explorers made contact with natives living in a number of later Mississippian cities, described their cultures, and left artifacts. By the time of United States westward expansion two hundred years later, Native Americans were generally not knowledgeable about the civilizations that produced the mounds. Research and study of these cultures and peoples has been based mostly on archaeology and anthropology.