Fire Cloud...
An irregular marking on the exterior of Native American pottery: usually resulting from burning fuel coming in direct contact with the vessel during firing

Wednesday, 2 April 2008

Ancient Mounds

Kolomoki Mounds, Georgia

I got up early to take pictures of the mounds and walk the trail. An odd feature of the walk though the woods was the use of yellow police tape to warn you away from trail offshoots that lead to nowhere.


The Kolomoki Mounds in Southeast Georgia were probably constructed during the period 350 BC to 650 AD. The population of native Americans in this location is thought to have been, at one time, the largest north of Mexico.

One mound is 57 feet tall and covers an area larger than a football field.


It contains over 2 million cubic feet of clay and dirt. The Mound A is so solid with clay that early archeologists joked that dynamite would be needed for excavation. There are dozens of mounds in the area. Some contain pottery that describes:

• A solar calendar divided into twelve months including equinoxes and solstices
• A star map of the night sky including constellations
• Representations of the paths of Mercury and Venus in the eastern predawn sky

Around 550 AD the mound building activity and population of the area declined. There is a theory that this decline corresponds to the eruption of Krakatoa, the most severe volcanic event of the last 50,000 years. As the weather worsened and food supplies declined, increased competition for dwindling food supplies led to an increase in warfare and to the development of the bow and arrow.



We blew off most of the things we wanted to see on the way to Arkansas. The Kolomoki Mounds had that ancient odd spooky feeling like the ancient Paestum ruins that we saw last spring in Italy.

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