Poverty Point

Poverty Point State Historic Site (French: Pointe de Pauvreté; 16 WC 5) is a prehistoric earthwork constructed by the Poverty Point culture. The Poverty Point site is located in present-day northeastern Louisiana though evidence of the Poverty Point culture extends throughout much of the Southeastern United States. The culture extended 100 miles (160 km) across the Mississippi Delta and south to the Gulf Coast. The Poverty Point site has been designated as a U.S. National Monument, a U.S. National Historic Landmark, and UNESCO World Heritage Site.[2] Located in the Southern United States, the site is 15.5 miles (24.9 km) from the current flow of the Mississippi River,[3] and is situated on the edge of Macon Ridge, near the village of Epps in West Carroll Parish, Louisiana.

The Poverty Point site contains earthen ridges and mounds, built by indigenous people between 1700 and 1100 BC during the Late Archaic period in North America.[4] Archaeologists have proposed a variety of possible functions for the site including as a settlement, a trading center, and/or a ceremonial religious complex. Other writers have proposed pseudo-archaeological and New Age associations.

The 402-acre (163 ha) property now operated as the Poverty Point State Historic Site[5] contains "the largest and most complex Late Archaic earthwork occupation and ceremonial site yet found in North America".[6] Euroamericans described the site in the 19th century. Poverty Point has been the focus of professional archaeological excavations since the 1950s. The earthworks are named after a 19th century plantation on the property.

Poverty Point National Monument
Louisiana - Poverty Point - Karte (English version)
A map of the Poverty Point site
Map showing the location of Poverty Point National Monument
Map showing the location of Poverty Point National Monument
Map showing the location of Poverty Point National Monument
Map showing the location of Poverty Point National Monument
LocationWest Carroll Parish, Louisiana, U.S.
Nearest cityEpps, Louisiana
Coordinates32°38′12″N 91°24′41″W / 32.63667°N 91.41139°WCoordinates: 32°38′12″N 91°24′41″W / 32.63667°N 91.41139°W
Area910.85 acres (368.61 ha)[1]
AuthorizedOctober 31, 1988
Governing bodyLouisiana Office of State Parks
WebsitePoverty Point National Monument
Official nameMonumental Earthworks of Poverty Point
TypeCultural
Criteriaiii
Designated2014 (38th session)
Reference no.1435
State PartyUnited States
RegionEurope and North America

Site description

The Monumental Earthworks of Poverty Point consist of a series of earthen ridges, earthen mounds, and a central plaza. The earthworks core of the site measures about 345 acres (140 ha), although archaeological investigations have shown that the total occupation area extended for more than three miles (5 km) along the Bayou Macon.[7] The earthworks include six concentric, C-shaped ridges that extend to the edge of the Macon Ridge and several mounds outside and inside of the earthen ridges.

Six C-shaped ridges

The main part of the monument is the six concentric C-shaped ridges. Each ridge is separated from the next by a swale or gulley. The ridges are divided by four aisles forming earthwork sectors. Three additional linear ridges or causeways connect earthen features in the southern half of the ridges. Today the ridges vary from 0.3 to 6 ft (10 –185 cm) in height relative to the adjacent swales. Archaeologists believe they were once higher in places, but have been worn down through roughly 150 years of agricultural plowing. The slightly rounded crest of each ridge varies from 50 - 80 ft (15–25 m) in width. The width of the intervening swales is 65 - 100 ft (20 – 30 m). The approximate diameter of the outside ridge is three-quarters of a mile (1.2 km), while the innermost ridge's diameter is about three-eighths of a mile (0.6 km).[8] The scale of the ridges is so massive that it wasn't until researchers examined aerial photographs that they were able to recognize the geometric design. Radiocarbon dates suggest that most of the ridges were constructed between 1600 and 1300 BC.

Plaza

Enclosed by the innermost concentric ridge and the eastern edge of Macon Ridge is a large, 37.5-acre (17.4 ha), plaza. Although the plaza appears to be a naturally flat area, it has been modified extensively. In addition to filled gullies, archaeologists found that soil was added to raise the level of the ground surface in some areas by as much as 3.3 ft (1 m). In the 1970s, excavations revealed evidence of huge wooden posts in the western plaza.[9] Later geophysical survey identified several complex circular magnetic features, ranging from about 82 ft (25 m) to 206 ft (63 m) in diameter, in the southern half of the plaza. [10] Based on the geophysical data, archaeologists with the University of Louisiana at Monroe and Mississippi State University undertook targeted excavations of some of the circular magnetic features; they found large post pits, indicating the magnetic circles were rings of wood posts. Radiocarbon dates from the post pit fill and from overlying features indicate the post circles were part of the landscape built by Native Americans, even as the earthworks were under construction.

Bird Mound at Poverty Point
Mound A at Poverty Point
Steps to Mound A, Poverty Point IMG 7429
Steps (since removed) to top of Mound A

Mound A

The earthen mounds are the most visible earthworks at the site. The largest of these, Mound A, is 72 ft (22 m) tall at its highest point and about 705 x 660 ft (215 x 200 m) at its base. Mound A is located to the west of the ridges, and is roughly T-shaped when viewed from above. Some have interpreted Mound A as being in the shape of a bird or as an "Earth island" representing the cosmological center of the site.[7]

Researchers have learned that Mound A was constructed quickly, probably over a period of less than three months.[7] Prior to construction, the vegetation covering the area of Mound A was burned. According to radiocarbon analysis, this burning occurred between 1450 and 1250 BC. The prehistoric builders immediately covered the burnt area with a layer of silt, followed quickly by the main construction effort. There are no signs of construction phases or weathering of the mound fill even at microscopic levels, indicating that construction proceeded in a single massive effort over a short period.[7] In total volume, Mound A is made up of approximately 8,400,000 cubic feet (238,000 cubic meters) of fill, making it the second-largest earthen mound (by volume) in eastern North America. It is second in overall size to the later Mississippian-culture Monks Mound at Cahokia, built beginning about 950-1000 AD in present-day Illinois near the Mississippi River.[7]

Shallow borrow pits are located near Mound A. Presumably the Poverty Point people carried dirt from those borrow pits and from elsewhere on the site to build the mound.[11]

Mound B

Mound B at Poverty Point IMG 7424
Mound B field

Mound B is located north and west of the six concentric ridges and 2050 ft (625 m) north of Mound A. The mound is roughly conical in form and is approximately 21 ft (6.5 m) in height with a 180 ft (55 m) basal diameter. Dating to sometime after 1700 BC, Mound B was the first earthwork built at Poverty Point. Built in several stages, charcoal, fire pits and possible postmolds were found at various levels within the mound. The impressions of woven baskets were preserved in the fill of an upper level of the mound construction. The final stage of the mound construction was a conical silt loam lens that covered the entire mound surface.[12] During excavations in the mid-1950s, a human bone was reported within an ash lens at the base of the mound. At the time, this finding was reported as evidence of a cremation. [13] However, recent research failed to find any evidence of the ash lens. Researchers suggest instead the reported lens represents a fine gray silt common to E horizon soils on the Macon Ridge and often found beneath mounds.[14] The identification of the bone (reported as the proximal end of an infant's femur) has also been disputed and is not curated in any known collection from the site.[15]

Mound C

Mound C is located inside the plaza area near the eastern edge of Macon Ridge. Mound C is 6.5 ft (2 m) in height, about 260 ft (80 m) long, and today is 80 ft (25 m) wide. The width is truncated by erosion along the eastern edge. There is a depression that divides the mound, which is thought to have been created by a 19th-century wagon road which proceeded northward to the old town of Floyd, Louisiana. Multiple radiocarbon dates for Mound C bracket the entire occupation of the site, but one radiocarbon test result from beneath the base of the mound suggests Mound C is one of the earliest constructions at the site. Mound C is composed of several thin layers of distinct soils with small amounts of accumulated debris, or midden, between them, indicating they were added over time. The uppermost level gave the mound its final dome shape.[16]

Mound D

Mound D is a rectangular earthwork having a flat summit that today contains a historic cemetery associated with the Poverty Point Plantation.  This mound is about 4 ft (1.2 m) tall and 100 x 130 ft (30 x 40 m) at its base and is situated on one of the concentric ridges. Several lines of evidence suggest that Mound D was built, at least in part, by the Coles Creek culture nearly 2000 years after the Poverty Point culture occupation of the site.  First, Coles Creek culture ceramics were recovered near Mound D.  Second, Coles Creek culture ceramics were recovered 40 cm below the ground surface near Mound D.[15] Third, optically stimulated luminescence analyses on soils beneath and within the mound, which determine the date the soils were last exposed to sunlight, are consistent with a Coles Creek culture mound constructed on top of a Poverty Point ridge.[17]

Mound E

Mound E is sometimes referred to as the Ballcourt Mound. The Ballcourt designation comes from "two shallow depressions on its flattened top which reminded some archaeologists of playing areas in front of outdoor basketball goals, not because of any suggestion of actual activities at Poverty Point."[18]

Mound E is located 1330 ft (405 m) south of Mound A and is a rectangular flat-topped structure with rounded corners and a ramp extending from the northeast corner. Mound E is 13.4 ft (4 m) in height and 360 x 295 ft (110 x 90 m) at its base.[19] The profile of an excavation unit on the edge of Mound E revealed five construction stages that were corroborated by series of soil cores recovered across the mound surface. No features were recorded in the excavations and only a small number of artifacts were recovered. Several of the recovered artifacts were of nonlocal chert, such as novaculite, characteristic of the Poverty Point site raw material assemblage. [20] Until recently, dating of Mound E relied on a similarity with the construction of Mound B and their relatively similar soil development. [21] In 2017, a small piece of charcoal was recovered in a soil core taken from the base of the mound ramp. This charcoal, from the base of the mound, provided a radiocarbon date suggesting construction sometime after 1500 BC. [22]

Mound F

A sixth mound was discovered at Poverty Point in 2013. Known as Mound F, it is located outside and to the northeast of the concentric ridges.  Mound F is about 5 ft (1.5 m) tall and 80 x 100 ft (24 by 30 m) at its base. A radiocarbon date on charred wood from the mound base indicates it was built sometime after ca 1280 BC, making it the last Archaic mound added to Poverty Point. [23]

Lower Jackson and Motley mounds

Poverty Point Mounds overview HRoe 2013
An overview of the Poverty Point site showing the locations of the nearby Motley and Lower Jackson mounds

Approximately 1.8 miles (2.9 km) south of the Poverty Point site center is the Lower Jackson Mound (16WC10) a conical structure 10 ft (3 m) in height and 115 ft (35 m) in diameter at its base. For many years, archaeologists believed the Lower Jackson Mound was built during the same time as the Poverty Point site.[24] However, modern radiocarbon dates from the base of the Mound demonstrate that the Lower Jackson Mound was built ca. 3900 to 3600 BC which predates the Poverty Point earthworks by about 1500 years. Artifacts typical of the early date, such as baked loess blocks and Evans projectile points, were recovered near the mound. [25] Lower Jackson Mound is on the same north-south line as the later Poverty Point Mounds E, A, and B.

Approximately 1.2 miles (2.2 km) to the north of the Poverty Point earthworks is the Motley Mound (16WC7), which is 52 ft (16 m) in height with a base that measures 560 x 410 ft (170 x 125 m). Motley Mound has some similarity in form to Mound A, however, the cultural affiliation of this earthwork remains speculative.[26]

History

Construction

Circular structures at Poverty Point IMG 7433
Barrels outline a circular structures in the 37.5-acre (17.4 ha) plaza at Poverty Point

Poverty Point was not constructed all at once. The final form appears to have been the product of successive generations over a considerable period of time. The exact sequence and timeframe of earthwork construction is not precisely known. Radiocarbon dating of the site has produced a wide variety of results, but recent syntheses suggest earthwork construction began as early as 1800 BC and continued until as late as 1200 BC.[27][28][29]

Archaeological excavations determined that prior to the construction of the earthworks, prehistoric workers leveled the land around the site and filled in gullies and other low places to create the flat central plaza and surfaces on which to build the mounds and ridges. The main building material was loess, a type of silt loam soil which is easy to dig but erodes when exposed to water. For this reason, clay may have been used to cap the loess constructions to protect the surfaces from erosion.[30] The earthworks were constructed by dumping basket loads of dirt in piles and then filling in the gaps between them. The baskets, depending on the size of the bearer, could hold between 30 and 50 pounds (13.5 - 22.5 kg) of dirt, suggesting that men, women, and children participated in the construction.[31]

The number of individuals involved in the construction of Poverty Point is unknown, although archeologist Jon L. Gibson provides multiple scenarios for how long it would have taken to build the earthwork depending on the number and intensity of individual efforts. For example, he estimated that the earthwork could have been produced in a century by three generations if one hundred individuals spent six or seven days a month on the construction project. Gibson also suggests that workers lived on-site during construction, possibly setting up temporary homes on top of the very earthworks that they were building.[32] Most archaeological excavations of the ridges at Poverty Point consist of small 1 by 1 m units that cannot reveal the extent of an entire household. An exception is the 1980-1982 Louisiana State University excavations that explored a 16 x 98 ft (5 x 30 m) trench placed on the Northwest Ridge 1. The trench excavation revealed multiple sequential levels of domestic activity over time. Archaeologists have interpreted this zone as possible evidence for more long-term habitation of the site.[33]

Changes in temperature, precipitation, and increased flooding, may have caused an ecological imbalance that led to the abandonment of Poverty Point. Archeologists use this change as a time boundary between the Archaic and later Woodland periods. [34]  

Purposes

Poverty Point Aerial HRoe 2014
Artist's conception of the completely constructed site.

Archaeologists have long-debated the functions of the Poverty Point site. One of the main questions has been whether it was used for a settlement or only for periodic events. Archaeologists postulate that houses were constructed on top of the concentric ridges. Postholes along with hearths and earth ovens have been found on the ridges, indicating the presence of buildings and associated activities. Other archaeologists believe that regular residence would have produced more postholes. Gibson and others note the postholes could have been destroyed by the historic plowing that took place on much of the site and also note the limited excavations that would reveal posthole patterns of houses.[35]

Archaeologists such as Sherwood Gagliano and Edwin Jackson support the interpretation that Poverty Point was a site where groups came to meet and trade on an occasional basis.[36] Gibson believes there is evidence of too much rubbish left by original inhabitants for only occasional habitation, and that it would be implausible to build for such a massive earthwork for use only as a trading center.[37]

Some archaeologists interpret Poverty Point as having religious symbolism and importance. Archaeologist William Haag, who excavated at the site in the 1970s, interpreted the aisles that divide the ridge sectors as having astronomical significance aligned to the solstices. Astronomer Robert Purrington believes the ridges at Poverty Point were geometrically, rather than astronomically, aligned.[38] Researchers have also studied historic and contemporary Native American religious beliefs for parallels. Gibson believes that the ridges were built with their arcs against the west to keep malevolent spirits of evil and death out of the complex.[39]

Poverty Point people

Poverty Point clay utensils HRoe 2009
Decorative objects formed from loess soil, then fired, found at the Poverty Point site

The people of the Poverty Point culture who constructed the earthworks were hunter-fisher-gatherers rather than agriculturalists. They are an example of a complex hunter-gatherer society that constructed large-scale monuments. The vast majority of other prehistoric monuments, ranging from Stonehenge in England to Khufu's Great Pyramid at Giza in Egypt, were constructed by agricultural societies, in which crop surpluses allowed greater density of population and stratification of society.

The people who lived at Poverty Point were Native Americans, descendants of the immigrants who came to North America across the Bering Strait land bridge approximately twelve to fifteen thousand years ago. The people identified with the Poverty Point culture developed a distinct set of cultural traits different from other contemporary inhabitants in the Lower Mississippi Valley.[40] Time, cultural change, and the lack of written records prevent researchers from identifying the people of Poverty Point as ancestors to any specific historic or modern tribe.

The food sources of the people at Poverty Point came from the local animals and plant life in the region. The Poverty Point people's food was acquired through fishing, gathering, and hunting. Poverty Point subsistence was broad-based due to the different seasonal foods that were available. Their diet consisted of large mammals like deer, small mammals like possum, various fish and turtles, mollusks, nuts, fruits, berries, and aquatic roots.[41]

Artifacts

The vast majority of artifacts recovered at Poverty Point are small, baked shapes made of loess, found in a wide variety of forms and referred to as "Poverty Point Objects" or PPOs.[42] Except for unique specialized forms, archaeologists generally conclude the fired earth objects were used in cooking, based on the artifacts recovery context and supported by experimental archaeology. When placed in earth ovens, the objects were shown to hold heat and aid in cooking food.[43]

The inhabitants of Poverty Point produced small amounts of pottery, creating a variety of different types such as fiber-tempered, grog-tempered, and untempered with both the Wheeler and Old Floyd Tchefuncte design styles as decoration.[44] More commonly, however, they imported stone vessels made of steatite from the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains.[45]

Most of the Poverty Point tools appear to have been made on-site, as there is evidence of debris from their manufacturing process found across the ridges.[46] An analysis of artifacts recovered from the ridges demonstrates that individual ridges and sectors of the earthwork complex were used for specialized activities. For example, based on the analysis of projectile points and production debris, the north sector of the earthwork was the favored location for manufacturing tools and the South sectors were the location where the manufactured projectile points were used as tools. Beads, pendants and other lapidary items were recovered primarily in the West sector. However, clay figurines are evenly distributed throughout the ridge system.[42] Based on the analysis of artifacts recovered from successive strata of ridge construction, there are clear changes in artifact styles through time. For example, cylindrical grooved Poverty Point Objects are the earliest form of the artifact type produced and biconical forms occur later in time.[33]

There is no naturally occurring stone at Poverty Point. Based on the distant geological sources of different kinds of stone used to make lithic artifacts recovered at Poverty Point, archaeologists conclude that the inhabitants were active in trade with other Native Americans. For example, a disproportionate number of projectile points were made from raw materials naturally occurring in the Ouachita and Ozark Mountains and in the Ohio and Tennessee River valleys. Other materials derived from trade that included soapstone from the southern Appalachian Mountains of Alabama and Georgia, and galena from Missouri and Iowa. Archaeologists assumed that the presence of copper artifacts indicated trade with copper-producing tribes in the upper Great Lakes region.[47] However, modern scientific analyses demonstrate that at least some of the copper artifacts recovered from Poverty Point were made from materials available in the southern Appalachian Mountains where soapstone or steatite vessels at Poverty Point are also sourced.[48]

Discovery, excavation and tourism

Povery Point Site, Louisiana, Aerial Photograph
An aerial view of the earthworks at Poverty Point. Excerpt from USDA Agricultural Stabilization and Conservation Service aerial photograph CTK-2BB-125. Aerial photograph taken November 11, 1960.

Discovery and archaeological excavation

In the 1830s Jacob Walter, an American explorer searching for lead ore in the area, came across Poverty Point and wrote about it in his diary. Walter wrote "On my arrival at the place of my destination, on bayou Mason at which place I had been informed lead ore had been found.  But on examination I soon discovered how the lead ore came to this place.  & with this discovery, all hope of finding a lead mine disapate [sic].  Instead of a lead mine, I found myself on the site of an old Indian town. The surface of the earth at this place, for several acres around, were strewed in grate profusion, with fragments of Indian crockery.  & a large number clay made by the indians for edible purposes indicating the fact that the inhabitants who located the town were a tribe of clay eating indians.  The clay balls (Poverty Point Objects) were the size of a green walnut & had been baked in fire. Thus disappointed in the discovery of a lead mine, I mounted my horse.  I rode out to look & see what the country looked like in the vicinity of this old town site.  I soon discovered a mound of colossal size (Mound A).  The figure of the base of this superstructure was a rectangle twice as long as wide & about 1000 long by 500 broad & 150 feet in altitude with top or terrace, of 20 feet wide & 500 feet long . . ." [49]

The first published account of the site was in 1873 by Samuel Lockett, who served as an officer in the Confederate Army during the American Civil War. During the early 20th century, archaeologists took an interest in the site. Poverty Point was investigated and described by Clarence B. Moore in1913, by Gerard Fowke of the Smithsonian Institution in 1926, by Clarence H. Webb in 1935, and by Michael Beckman in 1946.[50] Three excavation seasons in 1952, 1953 and 1955 were undertaken by James A. Ford and Clarence Webb, leading to the publication of Poverty Point, a Late Archaic Site in Louisiana in 1956.[51]

Excavations have continued at the site into the 21st century. These research efforts include Sharon Goad's (1980-1982) excavation trench on Northwest Ridge 1, Jon Gibson's (1983-1995) excavations at numerous ridge locations across the site, Glen Greene's (1983-1992) research on soil development and cultural landscaping of the site, and other archaeologists conducting limited site research. In the early 2000s T.R. Kidder and Anthony Ortmann conducted research on various mounds at the site and completed a topographic survey of the Poverty Point site. Michael Hargrave and Berle Clay conducted a large area geophysical survey from 2006 to 2012, using magnetic gradiometry and resistivity to investigate the plaza and ridge system. Since 2006, Rinita Dalan has measured magnetic susceptibility of cores and downed cored holes to understand features identified by the gradiometer surveys as well as the construction of the ridges and plaza. The Louisiana Division of Archaeology established the Station Archaeology Program at Poverty Point in 1996 to oversee, coordinate, and conduct site research. The program remains active and has conducted numerous excavations at the site along with curating and analyzing collections from previous excavations at Poverty Point.

Public access and site maintenance

In 1960, John Griffin, who at the time was the Southeast Regional Archaeologist for the National Park Service, suggested to the Federal government that Poverty Point be declared and established a National Monument. At first the United States Congress declined to support the protection, fearing the unpopularity of acquiring the land from local landowners,[52] but the site was designated as a National Historic Landmark on June 13, 1962.

In 1972, the State of Louisiana purchased a 400-acre (1.6 km2) section of the site. In 1976, the state opened the site to the public as the Poverty Point State Commemorative Area. The state built a museum devoted to interpreting the earthworks and the artifacts uncovered there.[53] In 1988 Congress designated the site as a U.S. National Monument.[54]

Today Poverty Point National Monument is open for visitors daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. except for Thanksgiving, Christmas Day, and New Year's Day.[55] As the site is managed by the Louisiana Office of State Parks, a National Parks pass is not accepted for admission. Louisiana works with the Vicksburg U.S. Army Corps of Engineers division in developing plans for erosion control.[6]

In 2013, Lieutenant Governor Jay Dardenne, the ex officio head of the Louisiana Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism, requested $750,000 in emergency state funding to limit erosion at Poverty Point. The erosion which threatens the prehistoric earthworks is caused by Harlin Bayou in the northern part of the site. The funding was approved.

UNESCO World Heritage Site designation

In January 2013, the United States Department of the Interior nominated Poverty Point for inclusion on the UNESCO World Heritage List. State Senator Francis C. Thompson of Delhi in Richland Parish said the matter is not "just a local or even state issue [but] of international importance. The prestige of having a World Heritage Site in our region and state would be of great significance both culturally and economically."[56]

On June 22, 2014, the UNESCO World Heritage Committee inscribed Poverty Point as a World Heritage Site at its meeting in Doha, Qatar. Lieutenant Governor Jay Dardenne sent a two-person delegation to Qatar to assist delegates from the U.S. Departments of the Interior and State in providing information about Poverty Point to the World Heritage Committee as they considered its nomination to the World Heritage List. Poverty Point is now a member of this prestigious group, alongside such cultural landmarks as Stonehenge in England, the Pyramid Fields at Giza in Egypt, and the Great Wall of China. The designation made Poverty Point the first World Heritage Site in Louisiana and the 22nd in the United States.[2]

See also

References

  1. ^ "Listing of acreage as of December 31, 2011". Land Resource Division, National Park Service. Retrieved 2012-05-14.
  2. ^ a b Greg Hilburn. "A first for Louisiana: Poverty Point selected as World Heritage site". Monroe News-Star. Retrieved June 23, 2014.
  3. ^ Milner, George R. (2004). The Moundbuilders: Ancient Peoples of Eastern North America. London: Thames & Hudson Ltd.
  4. ^ U.S. Department of the Interior (2013). The Monumental Earthworks of Poverty Point (PDF). Nomination to the World Heritage List by the United States of America. p. 106.
  5. ^ U.S. Department of the Interior (2013). Monumental Earthworks of Poverty Point. Nomination to the World Heritage List by the United States of America. p. 106.
  6. ^ a b "Poverty Point" Archived 2015-04-29 at the Wayback Machine, National Historic Landmarks Program, National Park Service
  7. ^ a b c d e Kidder, Tristram R.; Ortmann, Anthony L.; Arco, Lee J. (November 2008), "Poverty Point and the Archaeology of Singularity", Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Record, 8 (5): 9–12
  8. ^ U.S. Department of the Interior (2013). Monumental Earthworks of Poverty Point. Nomination to the World Heritage List by the United States of America.
  9. ^ Haag, William G. (1990) Excavations at the Poverty Point Site: 1972-1975. In Recent Research at the Poverty Point Site edited by Kathleen M. Byrd, Louisiana Archaeology, Number 13, pp. 1-36.
  10. ^ Hargrave, Michael L., and R. B. Clay. (2016) Geophysical and LiDAR Investigations at the Poverty Point World Heritage Site, 16WC5. Draft report submitted to State of Louisiana, Office of Cultural Development, Division of Archaeology.   
  11. ^ Driving Guide, "Poverty Point State Historic Site, Epps, Louisiana", p. 4
  12. ^ U.S. Department of the Interior (2013). Monumental Earthworks of Poverty Point. Nomination to the World Heritage List by the United States of America. pp. 30–32.
  13. ^ Ford, J. A. and C. H. Webb (1956)  Poverty Point, A Late Archaic Site in Louisiana.  Anthropological Papers of the American Museum of Natural History, vol. 46, Pt 1,  New York.
  14. ^ KIdder, Tristram R., Anthony Ortmann and Thurman Allen. 2004. Testing Mounds B and E at Poverty Poiint. Southeastern Archaeology 23:98-113
  15. ^ a b Connolly, Robert P. Poverty Point Research Design(2003:17)
  16. ^ U.S. Department of the Interior (2013). Monumental Earthworks of Poverty Point. Nomination to the World Heritage List by the United States of America. pp. 38–40.
  17. ^ Feathers, James. K. and Sehar Sheikh. (2012) Luminescence Dating for Mound D at Poverty Point, Louisiana. Unpublished report on file, Poverty Point Station Archaeology Program, Epps, LA.   
  18. ^ Gibson, Jon L. (2000). The Ancient Mounds of Poverty Point: Place of Rings. Gainesville, Florida: University Press of Florida, p. 85
  19. ^ U.S. Department of the Interior (2013). Monumental Earthworks of Poverty Point. Nomination to the World Heritage List by the United States of America. p. 33.
  20. ^ Kidder, T.R., Anthony Ortmann and Thurman Allen (2004). "Testing Mounds B and E at Poverty Point". Southeastern Archaeology. 23: 98–113.CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link)
  21. ^ Greenlee, Diana (2011) Annual Report of the Station Archaeology Program at the Poverty Point State Historic Site. Unpublished report submitted to the United States National Park Service.
  22. ^ Greenlee (2017) New Investigations of Poverty Point’s Enigmatic Mound E. Preservation in Print 44(9):8-9.
  23. ^ Ellerbe, Jenny and Diana M. Greenlee (2015). Poverty Point: Revealing the Forgotten City. Louisiana State University Press.
  24. ^ U.S. Department of the Interior (2013). Monumental Earthworks of Poverty Point. Nomination to the World Heritage List by the United States of America. p. 27.
  25. ^ Joe Saunders; et al. (2001). "An Assessment of the Antiquity of the Lower Jackson Mound". Southeastern Archaeology. 20: 67–77.
  26. ^ U.S. Department of the Interior (2013). Monumental Earthworks of Poverty Point. Nomination to the World Heritage List by the United States of America. p. 29.
  27. ^ Connolly, Robert P. "An Assessment of Radiocarbon Age Results from the Poverty Point Site". 2006. Louisiana Archaeology, Volume 28, pp. 1-14.
  28. ^ "Poverty Point : Plaza". Louisiana Division of Archaeology. Retrieved 2017-12-20.
  29. ^ Greenlee, Diana. "Poverty Point". Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities. Retrieved 2017-12-20.
  30. ^ Gibson, Jon L. (2000). The Ancient Mounds of Poverty Point: Place of Rings. Gainesville, Florida: University Press of Florida, pp. 91-92.
  31. ^ Gibson, Jon L. 2000. Ancient Mounds Of Poverty Point: Place Of Rings (Native Peoples, Cultures, And Places Of The Southeastern United States). E-Book. Gainesville, Florida: University Press of Florida.
  32. ^ Gibson, Jon L. (2000). The Ancient Mounds of Poverty Point: Place of Rings. Gainesville, Florida: University Press of Florida, pp. 103-109.
  33. ^ a b Connolly, Robert (2002). "The 1980-1982 Excavations on the Northwest Ridge 1 at the Poverty Point Site". Louisiana Archaeology. 25: 1–92.
  34. ^ Snow, Dean R. (2010).Archaeology of Native North America. New York: Prentice Hall. p. 95.
  35. ^ Gibson, Jon L. (2000). The Ancient Mounds of Poverty Point: Place of Rings. Gainesville, Florida: University Press of Florida, pp. 100-103.
  36. ^ Jackson, Edwin (1991). "The Trade Fair in Hunter-Gatherer Interaction: The Role of Intersocietal Trade in the Evolution of Poverty Point Culture". In Gregg, Susan A. (ed.). In Between Bands and States. Occasional Paper No. 9. Center for Archaeological Investigations, Southern Illinois University, Carbondale. pp. 265–286.
  37. ^ Gibson, Jon L. (2000). The Ancient Mounds of Poverty Point: Place of Rings. Gainesville, Florida: University Press of Florida, pp. 106-108.
  38. ^ Gibson, Jon L. (2000). The Ancient Mounds of Poverty Point: Place of Rings. Gainesville, Florida: University Press of Florida, p. 30.
  39. ^ Gibson, Jon L. (2000). The Ancient Mounds of Poverty Point: Place of Rings. Gainesville, Florida: University Press of Florida, pp. 108-109.
  40. ^ Gibson, Jon L. 2000. Ancient Mounds Of Poverty Point: Place Of Rings (Native Peoples, Cultures, And Places Of The Southeastern United States). E-Book. Gainesville, Florida: University Press of Florida.
  41. ^ Greenlee, Diana "Poverty Point", In knowlouisiana.org Encyclopedia of Louisiana, edited by David Johnson. Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities, 2010–, 19 November 2014. http://www.knowlouisiana.org/entry/poverty-point-7.
  42. ^ a b Connolly, Robert (2008). "Scratching the Surface: The Role of Surface Collections in Solving the "Mystery" of Poverty Point". Louisiana Archaeology. 35: 79–115.
  43. ^ Gibson, Jon L. (2000). The Ancient Mounds of Poverty Point: Place of Rings. Gainesville, Florida: University Press of Florida, pp. 112-116.
  44. ^ Christopher Hays and Richard Weinstein (2004). Early Pottery at Poverty Point: Origins and Function. In Early Pottery: Technology, Function, style, and Interaction in the Lower Southeast edited by Rebecca Saunders and Christopher Hays, University of Alabama Press. pp. 150–168.
  45. ^ Gibson, Jon L. (2000). The Ancient Mounds of Poverty Point: Place of Rings. Gainesville, Florida: University Press of Florida, p. 121.
  46. ^ Gibson, Jon L. (2000). The Ancient Mounds of Poverty Point: Place of Rings. Gainesville, Florida: University Press of Florida, p.112
  47. ^ Gibson, Jon (1994). "Over the Mountain and Across the Sea: Regional Poverty Point Exchange". Louisiana Archaeology. 17: 251–299.
  48. ^ Hill, Mark A., Diana M. Greenlee and Hector Neff (2016). "Assessing the provenance of Poverty point Copper through LA-ICP-MS compositional analysis". Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports. 6: 351–360.CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link)
  49. ^ Connolly, Robert (1997). 1997 Annual Report: Station Archaeology Program at the Poverty Point State Commemorative Area. Report on file, Louisiana Division of Archaeology, Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
  50. ^ Gibson, Jon L. (2000). The Ancient Mounds of Poverty Point: Place of Rings. Gainesville, Florida: University Press of Florida, p. 16-17.
  51. ^ Ford, James and Clarence Webb (1956). Poverty Point: A Late Archaic Site in Louisiana. Anthropological Papers Volume 46, Part 1. New York, New York: American Museum of Natural History.
  52. ^ Gibson, Jon L. (2000). The Ancient Mounds of Poverty Point: Place of Rings. Gainesville, Florida: University Press of Florida, p. 5
  53. ^ Gibson, Jon L. (2000). The Ancient Mounds of Poverty Point: Place of Rings. Gainesville, Florida: University Press of Florida, p. 4
  54. ^ "The National Parks: Index 2009–2011". National Park Service.
  55. ^ Louisiana – Department of Culture, Recreation & Tourism Archived 2009-02-07 at the Wayback Machine
  56. ^ Greg Hilburn. "Geopolitics threaten Poverty Point's fate: US in arrears to UNESCO, which decides World Heritage Sites, July 16, 2013". The Monroe News-Star. Retrieved July 17, 2013.

External links

Anzick Clovis burial

The Anzick Site (24PA506) in Park County, Montana, United States, is the only known Clovis burial site in the New World.

Archaic period (North America)

In the classification of the archaeological cultures of North America, the Archaic period or "Meso-Indian period" in North America, taken to last from around 8000 to 1000 BC in the sequence of North American pre-Columbian cultural stages, is a period defined by the archaic stage of cultural development.

The Archaic stage is characterized by subsistence economies supported through the exploitation of nuts, seeds, and shellfish. As its ending is defined by the adoption of sedentary farming, this date can vary significantly across the Americas.

The rest of the Americas also have an Archaic Period.

Brewster Site

The Brewster Site is an archaeological site associated with a village of the Mill Creek culture near Cherokee, Iowa, United States. Among the items found here are ceremonial or decorative items manufactured from birds. Pottery that has been tempered with crushed granite, sand, and pulverized clamshell has also been found. The site was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1979.

Cahokia Woodhenge

The Cahokia Woodhenge was a series of large timber circles located roughly 850 metres (2,790 ft) to the west of Monks Mound at the Mississippian culture Cahokia archaeological site near Collinsville, Illinois. They are thought to have been constructed between 900 and 1100 CE; with each one being larger and having more posts than its predecessor. The site was discovered as part of salvage archaeology in the early 1960s interstate highway construction boom and one of the circles was reconstructed in the 1980s. The circle has been used to investigate archaeoastronomy at Cahokia. Annual equinox and solstice sunrise observation events are held at the site.

El Fin del Mundo

El Fin del Mundo (Spanish: 'End of the World') is an ancient Pleistocene site in northwestern Sonora, Mexico. It features Clovis culture period occupation dating around 13,390 calibrated years BP. It was discovered during a 2007 survey.

This is the oldest Clovis site in North America. There's also the Aubrey site in Denton County, Texas, which produced a radiocarbon date that is almost identical.

Francis C. Thompson

Francis Coleman Thompson (born October 29, 1941) is a wealthy developer from Delhi in Richland Parish, Louisiana, USA, from which he served as a senior Democratic member of the Louisiana House of Representatives. He served continuously from 1975 until 2007. Because of state term limits, Thompson was ineligible to have sought a ninth four-year term for the House in the nonpartisan blanket primary held on October 20, 2007.Instead, Thompson was elected outright over two fellow Democrats to the District 34 seat in the Louisiana State Senate vacated by the also term-limited Charles Jones of Monroe. Thompson received 13,763 votes (51 percent) to 10,937 (42 percent) for African-American State Representative Willie Hunter, Jr., of Monroe and 2,113 (8 percent) for Paxton J. Branch. Ten days after he vacated the seat to Thompson, Charles Jones was charged with two counts of making and subscribing a false federal income tax return and one count of tax evasion.Hunter charged irregularities in the primary election in part on grounds that certain Thompson supporters in heavily black East Carroll Parish distributed food packages to the poor with instructions that they should vote for Francis Thompson to maintain such assistance.In addition to his own Richland Parish, Thompson's House district included all or portions of East Carroll, Madison, Morehouse, Ouachita, and West Carroll parishes in northeast Louisiana. His Senate district includes parts of Concordia, East Carroll, Madison, Ouachita, Richland, and Tensas parishes.

Indigenous peoples of the Southeastern Woodlands

Indigenous peoples of the Southeastern Woodlands, Southeastern cultures, or Southeast Indians are an ethnographic classification for Native Americans who have traditionally inhabited the Southeastern United States and the northeastern border of Mexico, that share common cultural traits. This classification is a part of the Eastern Woodlands. The concept of a southeastern cultural region was developed by anthropologists, beginning with Otis Mason and Frank Boas in 1887. The boundaries of the region are defined more by shared cultural traits than by geographic distinctions. Because the cultures gradually instead of abruptly shift into Plains, Prairie, or Northeastern Woodlands cultures, scholars do not always agree on the exact limits of the Southeastern Woodland culture region. Shawnee, Powhatan, Waco, Tawakoni, Tonkawa, Karankawa, Quapaw, and Mosopelea are usually seen as marginally southeastern and their traditional lands represent the borders of the cultural region.The area was linguistically diverse, major language groups were Caddoan and Muskogean, besides a number of language isolates.

Jaketown Site

Jaketown Site (22 HU 505) is an archaeological site with two prehistoric earthwork mounds in Humphreys County, Mississippi, United States. While the mounds have not been excavated, distinctive pottery sherds found in the area lead scholars to date the mounds' construction and use to the Mississippian culture period, roughly 1100 CE to 1500 CE.

The site was a complex regional trade center that developed and was inhabited much earlier, from 2000-600 BCE, during the Poverty Point culture within the Late Archaic period of the United States. This culture is seen in more than 100 sites on both sides of the Mississippi River, from present-day Louisiana to Mississippi; it also was linked to more distant areas through a trading network. The site has evidence of trade in raw materials and manufacture of finished items that were distributed through the network throughout the Eastern United States. The largest and most elaborate earthwork complex of the period is at Poverty Point, Louisiana.

The mounds were constructed as part of a later, succeeding culture, built to mark the political and religious center of a chiefdom. There would have been numerous elite residences nearby, as well as structures to support certain crafts. Because of its importance of a regional trade center of the Poverty Point culture in the Archaic period, and long human occupation, the site was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1990. It is managed by the state of Mississippi. Mississippi Highway 7 is routed near the site, which is approximately seven miles north of Belzoni.Artifacts found in the area near the site are featured on display in the Jaketown Museum in Belzoni. Dating of the artifacts has demonstrated that the Jaketown site was occupied by indigenous peoples from 1750 BCE to 1500 CE, making it one of the oldest continuously inhabited sites in the region.Archeological investigations have found that the smaller mounds nearby were hundreds of years older than the surviving two; they were built by peoples of a preceding culture. They were destroyed by plowing and being razed for use as fill for road construction in the early 20th century. The largest platform mound at the site, Mound B, is 23 feet (7.0 m) in height with a base of 150 feet (46 m) by 200 feet (61 m). It has a projection on its eastern side that is thought to have been a ramp once used as a stairway. To its northeast is Mound C, another platform mound with a height of 15 feet (4.6 m).

Leanderthal Lady

Leanderthal Lady, discovered in January 1983, is the skeletal remains of a prehistoric woman found at the Wilson-Leonard Brushy Creek Site (an ancient Native American campsite) in the city of Cedar Park, Texas, by the Texas Department of Transportation. The remains were also alternatively labeled "Leanne". Both names were inspired by the proximity of the site to the town of Leander, to the north.

Carbon dating and stratigraphic analysis showed the remains to be 10,000 to 13,000 years old. The skeleton is of a 5 feet 3 inches (1.60 m) tall female who was approximately eighteen to thirty years old at the time of death. The find was significant as one of the oldest and most complete human skeleton finds in North America.

List of archaeological periods (North America)

North American archaeological periods divides the history of pre-Columbian North America into a number of named successive eras or periods, from the earliest-known human habitation through to the early Colonial period which followed the European colonization of the Americas.

Marksville Prehistoric Indian Site

Marksville Prehistoric Indian Site (16 AV 1), also known as the Marksville State Historic Site, is a Marksville culture archaeological site located 1 mile (1.6 km) southeast of Marksville in Avoyelles Parish, Louisiana. The site features numerous earthworks built by the prehistoric indigenous peoples of southeastern North America.

Marsden Mounds

Marsden Mounds (16 R 13) is an archaeological site with components from the Poverty Point culture (1500 BCE) and the Troyville-Coles Creek period (400 to 1200 CE). It is located in Richland Parish, Louisiana, near Delhi. It was added to the NRHP on August 4, 2004, as NRIS number 04000803. It is the type site for the Marsden Phase (500-600 CE) of the Tensas Basin and Natchez Bluff regions local chronology.

National Register of Historic Places listings in West Carroll Parish, Louisiana

This is a list of the National Register of Historic Places listings in West Carroll Parish, Louisiana.

This is intended to be a complete list of the properties on the National Register of Historic Places in West Carroll Parish, Louisiana, United States. The locations of National Register properties for which the latitude and longitude coordinates are included below, may be seen in a map.There are 4 properties listed on the National Register in the parish.

This National Park Service list is complete through NPS recent listings posted May 17, 2019.

Poverty Point Reservoir State Park

Poverty Point Reservoir State Park is a state park in Richland Parish in northeastern Louisiana located along a 2,700 acres (4.2 sq mi) man-made reservoir offering camping and watersport activities, swimming, hiking, and fishing. The reservoir is named after nearby Poverty Point, an archeological site settled between 1,400 and 700 BC consisting of Native-American earthworks and other artifacts. The park has eight deluxe cabins, four standard cabins, and fifty-four campsites.Birding is excellent since the region falls in the Mississippi Flyway for many winged species. Depending on the season, visitors can expect to see cormorants, bald eagles, ducks, geese and pelicans.Fishing is a supported at the park via a 48 slip marina, boat launch, fish cleaning station, and concession area. Fisherman may expect to catch largemouth bass, black crappie, blue gill and channel catfish.Visitors may take advantage of the .5 miles (0.80 km) walking trail near Bayou Macon, but should be advised of black bears.

Poverty Point culture

Poverty Point culture is an archaeological culture that of a prehistoric indigenous peoples who inhabited a portion of the lower Mississippi Valley and surrounding Gulf coast from about 1730 - 1350 BC.Archeologists have identified more than 100 sites as belonging to this mound-builder culture, which also formed a large trading network throughout much of the eastern part of what is now the United States.

Recapture Canyon

Recapture Canyon is a canyon along Recapture Creek (a tributary of the San Juan River) east of Blanding, San Juan County, Utah, United States. It is an archaeological site, and is located on federal land. The Bureau of Land Management closed it to motorized vehicles in 2007 due to damage caused by illegal trail construction.Recapture Canyon contains dwellings, burial sites, and artifacts of the Ancient Pueblo peoples, including cliff dwellings built between 1150 and 1300 AD.On Saturday May 10, 2014, San Juan County Commissioner Phil Lyman organized a protest aimed at legally opening the trail to all-terrain vehicles. The protest attracted several militia members from the Bundy ranch. BLM undercover agents documented the illegal ride and are investigating potential damage to archaeological resources.

Tchefuncte Site

The Tchefuncte Site (16ST1) is an archaeological site that is a type site for the prehistoric Tchefuncte culture period. The name is pronounced Che-funk'tuh. It is located in the southeast section of Fontainebleau State Park near Mandeville, St. Tammany Parish, Louisiana.

The site was inhabited from 500 BCE to 1 CE during the Tchula period. Major excavations were directed by Clarence Johnson in 1938 and Edwin Doran in 1941.

Timber circle

In archaeology, timber circles are circular arrangements of wooden posts interpreted as being either complexes of freestanding totem poles or as the supports for large circular buildings.

Troyville culture

The Troyville culture is an archaeological culture in areas of Louisiana and Arkansas in the Lower Mississippi valley in the southern United States. It was a Baytown Period culture and lasted from 400 to 700 CE during the Late Woodland period. It was contemporaneous with the Coastal Troyville and Baytown cultures (all three had evolved from the Marksville Hopewellian peoples) and was succeeded by the Coles Creek culture. Where the Baytown peoples built dispersed settlements, the Troyville people instead continued building major earthwork centers.

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