Mississippian Culture – Most developed North American Native Culture – 800 AD – 1500 AD

The Mississippian Culture developed around 800 AD to 1500 AD. It covered vast regions of the southeast east and Midwestern region of United States. The culture developed in the fertile valleys of Mississippi river and Tennessee River. They were discovered by Hernando de Soto around 1539 AD. These people are mostly known for their mound building and agricultural techniques.

Mississippian Culture


The Mississippian people used to make large rectangular houses which were having extra storage area for storing grain. These people also built various mounds which were used as ceremonial or religious sites.

Mississippian Culture People

These mounds were pyramid mounds or platform mounds. They can be squre rectangular or circular in shape. They also built burial structure temples and other ceremonial sites. They are mostly known for making large earthwork.

Agriculture and Trade

These people used to grow maize in the fertile valleys of Mississippi river. The production of maize was on large scale to support homogonous population of Mississippian people. They also traded with various other cultures of their time. Many of the trade routes regarding this culture are found in regions like rockies mountain, Great lakes, gulf of mexico and east of atlantic ocean.

Mississippian Culture Pottery

Mississippian Culture Weapon


The early Mississippian period from 500 AD – 1000 AD mark the period when woodland people gave up tribal lifestyle and built a more complex agriculture based tradition.

The middle Mississippian culture from 100 AD – 1400 AD mark the peak time of Mississippian culture when they started growing big cities like Cahokia and mounds.

The late Mississippian culture phase is the period when they came in European contact and finally ended due to various diseases and climatic changes that occurred during the little ice age.


Cahokia was the capital of Mississippian people. It was a city near East St. Louis Illinois. It is mostly known for it’s mounds, it’s huge population. It was the most influential cultural center and the residence of the chiefs of the Mississippian culture.

European Contact

The Mississippian people firstly came in contact with the Spanish people. In 1539, Hernanado de Soto firstly arrived in this region he visited many villages. He helped to establish peace treaty with Europeans and Native Americans. Later European contact had a devastating effect on these people. Disease like small pox and measles killed many of the natives.

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