People first came to Minnesota during the last ice age, following herds of large game as glaciers melted. Long before the first Europeans arrived, Native Americans from as far away as 1,000 miles came to make ceremonial pipes from soft red pipestone carved from sacred quarries. The Pipestone National Monument in southwest Minnesota illustrates how these quarries were and still are used.
Five thousand years ago, humans made rock carvings of people, animals, and weapons that can be seen today at Jeffers Petroglyphs in southwestern Minnesota. These people also brought to Minnesota the idea of building earth mounds for graves and sacred ceremonies. At one time there were more than 10,000 of these mounds in Minnesota.