Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Poverty Point State Historic Park

Poverty Point is an amazing archaeological site in northern Louisiana that I've wanted to visit for many years. We went yesterday, and the visit left me very intrigued and wanting to learn more about this bizarre group of people. The site consists of massive earthen mounds constructed at about the same time as Hammurabi, ca. 1750 BCE. The site is best viewed from the air, as it is huge. Here is an aerial shot from 1938 I believe:
On the grounds each of these giant concentric ridges formed a settlement ridge. They are hard to see on the ground, and have been reduced due to erosion and agriculatural plowing. Here is what one ridge looks like from the ground:
There are also several giant earthen mounds nearby. This one, Mound A, is said to be in the shape of a giant bird facing north. Here are the steps up one of its massive wings:
One of the biggest of many questions I have is how could so many hunter gatherers live in one location, as I thought hunter gatherer societies lived in small groups?

After the visit, we set up our tent at Poverty Point State Park and then I slept very little.
Glad to be back home.

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