In 1881, John W. Powell appointed Cyrus Thomas to be the Director of the Eastern Mound Division of the Smithsonian Institute's Bureau of Ethnology. Cyrus Thomas commented on "Indian Mounds" in America. He said that, "There was a race of mound builders in America distinct from the American Indians." "Distinct from the American Indians," means the American Indians were "distinctly" not the mound builders.
The Americas had monuments almost as large as the pyramids of Egypt as seen in the Cahokia, Illinois mound. When the first Mongolians and Caucasian-Europeans came to North America they found earthen mounds, cones, terraced platforms, and animal shapes dotting the landscape west of the Appalachian Mountains. The people the Mongolians ran into were not primitives, but well-established civilizations. If that is not enough proof of civilization, "Cylindrical seals like those of the Pharaohs [of ancient Egypt] have been found in Ohio ..." The cylinder seals show that these people were not only civilized but may have had contact, either directly or indirectly, with people from the Nile Valley.
Moving to the East, into Ohio, it may make things more clear to tell you who the Hopewell people were.
Textbooks sometimes say that the Adena were succeeded by the Hopewell, but the relation is unclear; the Hopewell may simply have been a later stage of the same culture ... ('Hopewell' [only] refers to the farmer on whose property an early site was discovered.) ... The Hopewell, too, built mounds, and like the Adena seem to have spoken an Algonquin language.
So the mound building Hopewell were probably just a "later stage" of the Algonquin speaking Adena people. "The 'Mound Builders' can be divided into three [consecutive] groups. The first two are classified as woodland." They are: Adena, Hopewell and Mississippi ... 'Woodland Period.' These people lived over a wide area from the Atlantic to the Mississippi Valley." The Mississippi group of mound builders obviously lived up and down the Mississippi River. But North American mounds are found over much more vast area than those three areas.
A copper ornament that was found in one of the Hopewell burial mounds is a probably a profile of what a Hopewell man looked like. His hair looks distinctly like a typical "Afro-hairstyle" and he has a piece in his ear that looks almost identical to typical African earlobe stretching as seen in another example at "Plate 30 Olmec Negroid [Olmec] stone head (Tres Zapotes II)" in the pictorial section of Sertima's, They Came Before Columbus. Another Olmec stone head, (the first of the colossal found near the Mexican Village of Treszapotes in 1858 A.D.) has another example of earlobe-stretching as well as corn-rolled braids. Also, the man portrayed on the copper ornament found inside the Hopewell mound contains examples of African earlobe stretching, in addition to, an African hairdo as seen in two Olmec stone heads. So the man portrayed on Plate 30 has two African features, corn-rolled braids, and earlobe stretching.