(Sun Prairie, WI)—January 19th, 2012—Continental Mapping Consultants recently completed a mapping project at Aztalan State Park, providing archaeologists at the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) with a unique look at this historically important site.
Aztalan State Park is a federally designated National Historic Landmark and a major archaeological site in the Upper Midwest (Lake Mills, WI). The state park is the site of an ancient Middle Mississippian village that thrived along the Crawfish River between 1000 AD and 1300 AD, before being abandoned for unknown reasons. Central to this village are large, flat-topped pyramidal mounds similar to the much larger, more well-known platform mounds affiliated with Aztalan at the Cahokia site near St. Louis. Across the river from the village site are several smaller platform mounds, conical mounds, and embankments. These earthworks have been maintained by the park including a partially reconstructed large wooden stockade around the village giving visitors an impressive understanding of the site.
To support further field exploration, identification, and earthwork profiles of features at this site, the Wisconsin DNR called on Continental Mapping to create a high-accuracy surface model of the park. The data was used by the Wisconsin DNR to identify land use information for surrounding areas and support reconstruction of the prehistoric stockade surrounding the village. With the client being fairly unfamiliar with LiDAR, Continental Mapping was able to display the use of high accuracy LiDAR data and its many applications pertaining to the Wisconsin DNR and Aztalan State Park. The client was so pleased with the outcome of this project that they requested additional LiDAR outputs including the eventual creation of a 3-D model of the Aztalan village in its peak occupation for the enjoyment of park visitors.
Project Manager Candice Kasprzak said “This project was a great way for Continental Mapping to showcase LiDAR products and services to the Wisconsin DNR in both educational and technical aspects. It is good to see that the Wisconsin state agency leaders are taking an active approach to newer technologies to solve problems.”
President of Continental Mapping Dave Hart said “We are excited to provide high accuracy mapping and LiDAR services to the Wisconsin DNR for the purposes of managing our local, cultural resources. In addition, we are pleased to have completed yet another study of an important Midwest archaeological site.”
Headquartered in suburban Madison, Wisconsin, Continental Mapping is provider of geospatial data development services to private and public sector clients. Offering a full range of geospatial data creation capabilities from full service land survey to photogrammetry, LiDAR, and satellite remote sensing services, we are the leading small business geospatial experts in the country. In this ever-changing industry, Continental Mapping is committed to providing high quality products and solutions with the newest, and more importantly, most-applicable, technology.