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Thursday, March 24, 2011

101 Places to See Before You're 12 - An Archaeological Site

An Archaeological Site

On our way back from visiting our family on Sunday we stopped in Tennessee to visit the Pinson Mounds State Archaeological Area.

Pinson Mounds is an archaeological complex that consists of 17 earthen  mounds over 400 acres.  These mounds were built by Native Americans in the 200 B.C. - 500 A.D. period (the Middle Woodland period).  It's the largest mound center in the Southeast.

Here is the visitors center as we drove up.

The visitor's center was closed but that didn't stop us from exploring on our own and helping ourselves to a brochure and map.

Pinson Mounds was first documented in modern history in 1820 by a surveying crew.  The state purchased the land and it is now a National Historic Landmark and is on the National Register of Historic Places.

This is Saul's Mound which stands at 72 feet.  It's the second tallest mound in the U.S.
The larger mounds like this one were used for ceremonial purposes.
The smaller bounds were used for burials.



The view from the top was worth all those stairs.



Thomas would like for me to point out that we have also visited another Archaeological site - the La Brea Tar Pits.  You can read about our adventure there last summer here.  Since we didn't really get to go into the pit area where they're excavating, I didn't count that, but the rest of my family does :)

From the Book:
#71 - An Archaeological Site
We think we know a lot about the past.  And then one day, a farmer is plowing a field and hits an object.  It's something that doesn't seem to belong there - a part of a skull, a tool, maybe a shard of pottery.  He has it examined, and everything we thought we knew changes.  The farmer's field, it turns out is on the site of an old village, one no one knew about.  And as layers of dirt are removed, the village reappears, and we discover a forgotten part of the past.  New archaeological sites are being found all the time - in the middle of cities, in the countryside, maybe even in your town.  Not only can you see one, but at many sites, you can actually help dig.  You could be the one to find an important piece of history.  And even if you don't. you'll have fun digging in the dirt.

3 comments:

Ricki Jill Treleaven said...

Neat! I bet your kids loved this visit!

Ricki Jill Treleaven said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
TeeBLiterary said...

I love that you take your kids to all these cool places! They will be so smart and well-rounded because of it!