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Southeastern American Indians built mounds throughout the state beginning in the Woodland Period, some 2,000 years ago, and ending in the Mississippian Period, with the construction of Moundville around 1120. Mounds served various purposes in prehistoric Indian culture, standing as symbolic centers of power in communities and providing monumental tributes to deceased religious and political leaders, among other uses. Today, they allow us to experience in a small way the life of Alabama's residents prior to European contact.