Bear Creek and Pharr Mounds

Posted by ginger On Sunday, March 09, 2008

After we left the Jerry Brown Arts Festival last weekend, we drove over to the Natchez Trace and took pics at a couple of Indian mound sites. This first one is the Bear Creek mound. It's about 8 feet high and 85 feet across the base:

The park service has a sign here that reads:
"The village site was occupied as early as 8000 BC by hunters who stayed only long enough to prepare their kill."
..."until 1000AD, migratory people of this area practiced limited agriculture. The nearby fields and streams offered an abundance of nuts, fruits, game, and fish. These people shaped this mound and built a crude temple on its summit to house their sacred images."

Further down the Trace are the Pharr mounds. They were built between 1 and 200 AD/CE, and are on 85 acres, ranging in height from 2-18 feet high. This is mound A - it is seven feet high, and when it was excavated, archaeologists found a large grave underneath with three cremations:

On the left side of this pic, you can see mound b (18 feet high), c (18 feet high), and d (12 feet high), and way back in the middle is mound e (8 feet high):
Mound D is where archaeologists found copper spools and a few bone fragments, as well as a sandstone slab used as a crematory. Mound E is where they found projectile points, pottery shards, sheet mica, pipes, and ceramic vessels incised and stamped with distinctive designs.

The National Park Service has a nice website of several mounds in Mississippi, here.

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