The Decline Of Mound Building
After 1400, mound building in North America came to a mysterious end. Flood, famine, or disease may have swept through the Native communities, claiming the lives of many of the mound builders. A widely accepted explanation holds that the decline in mound building was a reaction against a terrifying religious revival known as the Southern Death Cult. Its obsession with death is displayed in horrifying grave goods, including weeping masks, and skulls engraved with spiders, centipedes, and frightening figures that are a combination of humans, animals, and serpents.