Sunday, September 23, 2012

Welcome Fall - Etowah Indian Mounds

Mound "A"- Chief/Priest Site
A couple of weeks ago DB and I decided to head over the the Etowah Indian Mounds only to discover they are closed on Sundays.  As yesterday was the official start to fall (and it was Saturday), we decided to head back to the Indian Mounds for a look around.  DB had been there as a child on a field trip being from this forsaken wonderful state. 

The Etowah Indian Mounds is an example of a Mississippian Culture site.  "Home to several thousand Native Americans from 1000 A.D. to 1550 A.D., the 54-acre site protects six earthen mounds, a plaza, village site, borrow pits and defensive ditch. Etowah Mounds is the most intact Mississippian Culture site in the Southeast.  Artifacts in the museum show how natives of this political and religious center decorated themselves with shell beads, paint, complicated hairdos, feathers and copper ear ornaments. Hand-carved stone effigies weighing 125 pounds still bear some original pigments.  Objects made of wood, seashells and stone are also displayed". 

Hand-carved stone effigies
There is a small museum that houses the artifacts and then you venture outside where the mounds are.  The museum is in need of updating, many of the artifacts are not in the cases and while the mounds are interesting, I think more people would visit if they could re-create the village area to give you a sense of what the place would have looked like.
The site sits on the Etowah River and when you walk to the river, it makes perfect sense why they made this area home, what a beautiful and rich area for food. 

In the river the Indians used rocks to form a "V" to catch fish with baskets, only when the water is low can you see this.  It was really quite ingenious!



The river banks are also home to several species of trees that provided nuts and berries.  Do you know what these are?  DB had to tell me, I cannot recall ever seeing this tree...



If you guessed walnut you would be correct! 

We were three a couple of hours and saw everything.  It was worth the $7.00 entrance fee.

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