Thursday, March 12, 2009
Ocmulgee National Monument - Macon, Georgia
Ocmulgee National Monument preserves a major archaeological site of the Mississippian era located in what is now the eastern edge of the city of Macon, Georgia.
The Ocmulgee mounds, also called the "Ocmulgee Old Fields," are among the most impressive in the Deep South. The Great Temple Mound at the site is 55 feet high and overlooks a site that includes an array of other mounds and other unique Native American structures.
Established in around 900 A.D., the site was a major ceremonial and political center for an important chiefdom that flourished in the Macon area. At one time home to an estimated 1,000 people, the Ocmulgee site declined in importance in around 1100 A.D. and eventually was abandoned.
As evidence of their presence, however, the inhabitants of the site left behind a striking series of mounds and earthworks. One of the more fascinating structures was an earth lodge discovered by archaeologists as they began to investigate the mounds. Now reconstructed, the lodge was used for important council meetings and possibly religious ceremonies. Excavations revealed that special sets for 47 important leaders lined the circular wall of the structure, while an elevated platform built in the shape of a giant bird held three additional seats, undoubtedly used by the most important leaders of the town. Visitors can now enter the reconstructed lodge to see these original features.
To learn more about this important national park, please visit our new Ocmulgee pages at www.exploresouthernhistory.com/ocmulgeemounds1.