in Southeast North America, an earthen construction, built by humans during one or multiple building episodes

For example, some mounds in the Southeast are burial mounds. After each burial a fresh cap of earth was added to the existing mound. In some cases known from late prehistory, the leader, or chief, would reside in a house on top of the mound. When he died, the house was burned, then covered with a new cap of earth and a newly-built house.

Sometimes mounds are referred to as temple-mounds, in recognition that some had buildings atop them that were used for civic-ceremonial activities, instead of merely being the residence of a leader or chief.