Sunday, April 4, 2010
Spiro Mounds Archaeological Center - Spiro, Oklahoma
Although it seems far removed from the large Mississippian era mound groups of Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia and the other Deep South states, Spiro played a critical part in the development of the Native American culture that spread across much of the Southeast and Midwest between A.D. 900 and A.D. 1540. The town maintained vast trading networks and archaeologists have found artifacts at the site that originated as far away as the Great Lakes and Florida.
Spiro Mounds also seems to have played a major role in the development of the ceremonial or religious beliefs of the Mississippian people, a culture that received its name because it is thought to have spread from the Mississippi River throughout the Southeast in around A.D. 900. Spiro is believed to have been occupied as early as A.D. 850 and research there has revealed a dramatic quantity of high quality ceremonial artifacts and artwork.
Research at the site has also revealed that the extensive complex of mounds was designed to coincide with key celestial events. The inhabitants of Spiro could mark the changing seasons by the way the sun and stars aligned with their mounds on key days of the year.
Spiro Mounds Archaeological Center is a major park owned and preserved by the Oklahoma Historical Society. It is open to the public five days each week and features a museum, walking paths, interpretive exhibits and more. To read moer about Spiro, please visit www.exploresouthernhistory.com/SpiroMounds1.