Etowah Indian Mounds Historic Site


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Etowah Indian Mounds Historic Site is located just north of Atlanta, Georgia and is home to one of the most intact Mississippian Culture mounds sites in the United States.

One of the mounds at Etowah. Between the years 1000 and 1550 A.D. the nearly 60 acre site was home to thousands of Native Americans. It contains six earthen mounds, a plaza, village site and a defensive ditch that surrounded the area.

Only nine percent of Etowah Indian Mounds Historic Site has been excavated, but work continues in many ways to explore and understand the rich history of these early peoples.

In 2005, work was done by the University of South Carolinas archaeologist, Adam King. His team of experts used modern techniques like remote sensing and geographical testing to explore what lies beneath the earth without actually having to dig.

What they found was amazing. Over 140 buildings were discovered that were previously unknown and were missed by the many previous digs over the last 120 years.

A village appeared with clusters of structures and some rather large buildings, one of which was at least 100 feet long on one side. It turns out; the site was much more complex than previously thought.

Since the Smithsonian Institutions 1883 excavation, thousands of priceless artifacts have been recovered and are on display around the world.

The parks own museum houses some of the amazing finds that have come out of the many archaeological excavations over the years.

Elaborate carvings of shell, wood, bone and even marble have been uncovered at Etowah Indian Mounds Historic Site. Shell gorgets and pendants have been carved so meticulously, you can only stand in awe at how it was done with simple tools over 500 years ago.

Other unique artifacts like pipes, copper plates and jewelry, ceremonial axes and feathered headdresses have also been uncovered at the mounds and are on display in the museum.

A pair of three foot tall marble effigies is one of my favorite artifacts on display at the parks museum. These intricately carved figures were uncovered in one of the ceremonial burial mounds and are possibly related to one of the mummies found in a wooden tomb. This is one of the best and well known finds at Etowah Indian Mounds Historic Site.

Fees for the museum are $5 for adults and $2.50 for kids with group discounts available with advanced notice. A gift shop, nature trails and picnic tables round out the parks amenities.

For information on directions to the park, hours of operation and historical reference, visit the official Georgia state park website here.

Author: Eric Brennan | Source: Associated Content [December 27, 2010]



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