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mound

mound, prehistoric earthwork erected as a memorial or landmark over a burial place, a defensive embankment, or a site for ceremonial or religious rites or other functions. Such structures are found in many parts of the world, but the name is applied in particular to those of North America, ascribed to a people known as Mound Builders . Sometimes the term is also applied to heaps of community refuse, as in shell mound .

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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