ETOWAH INDIAN MOUNDS HISTORIC SITE
Home to several thousand Native Americans between 1000 A.D. to 1550 A.D., this 54-acre site contains six earthen mounds, a plaza, village area, borrow pits and defensive ditch. This is the most intact Mississippian Culture site in the Southeastern United States.
While only nine percent of this site has been excavated, examination at Mound C and surrounding artifacts revealed much about the people who lived here more than 500 years ago. The Etowah Indian Mounds symbolize a society rich in ritual. Towering over the community, the 63-foot flat-topped earthen knoll was likely used as a platform for the home of the priest-chief. In another mound, nobility were buried in elaborate costumes accompanied by items they would need in their after-lives. Today, visitors may tour the museum where exhibits interpret daily life in the once self-sufficient community.
Many artifacts show how the natives of this political and religious center decorated themselves with shell beads, tattoos, paint, complicated hairdos, feathers and copper ear ornaments. Well-preserved stone effigies and objects made of wood, sea shells and stone are also displayed. A nature trail leads to the Etowah River and winds through the forest, showcasing how early civilizations used native trees.