In, Michael J. O’Brien and Carl Kuttruff, "Excavations at Mound Bottom, A Palisaded Mississippian Center in Cheatham County, Tennessee,", Wiliam Edward Myer, "Archaeological Field Work in Tennessee,". Mound Bottom is situated on a horseshoe bend of the Harpeth River at the river's confluence with Mound Creek, which approaches the riverbank opposite the site from the east. The site is closed to the public, although guided tours are available by request. Both Mound Bottom and Pack appear to have been initially established early in the Mississippian period (ca. Mound Bottom (State Archaeological Area) (Harpeth River State Park) (1100 - 1400), near Shacklett A Mississippian Culture palisaded town and 14-mound complex on the west bank of the Harpeth River, opposite Mound Creek. [1], In 1972, the State of Tennessee purchased the Mound Bottom site to preserve it as a state archaeological area. Mound Key Archaeological State Park is an archaeological island managed directly by Koreshan State Historic Site. Although it saw occasional small-scale reuse after that time, Mound Bottom would never again be intensively occupied. Participants are asked to bring a bag lunch. The Sellars Farm State Archaeological Area is located in Wilson County, off Hwy-70 left at Poplar Road, in Lebanon, Tennessee. 418 likes. 1000–1350 CE). Acquisition of Mound Key by the State, began in 1961. The largest mound at the site, Mound A, is a platform mound which today measures approximately 246 feet along each side and stands approximately 36 feet tall. The remaining mounds surrounding the plaza today measure between 2 and 13 feet tall. Today archaeologists understand that Mound Bottom, Pack, and other late prehistoric mound sites in the area surrounding Nashville were constructed by a regional Mississippian culture known as Middle Cumberland Mississippian. The Tennessee Division of Archaeology dispatched Carl Kuttruff and Michael O'Brien to conduct excavations at Mound Bottom in 1974 and 1975. Mound Bottom and Mace Bluff Archaeological Sites. In 1948, Madira Bickel Mound State Archaeological Site became Florida’s first state archeological site. In the late 1860s, Joseph Jones of the Smithsonian Institution investigated several prehistoric sites in Tennessee, and reported "extraordinary aboriginal works" at Mound Bottom. A.D. 1000) by individuals from outside the region. As Mound Bottom’s influence extended it supplanted or subsumed various small, local chiefdoms, while simultaneously incorporating aspects of regional cultural traditions. Site access is prohibited without accompaniment by park rangers or the Tennessee Division of Archaeology. Mound Bottom is a prehistoric Native American complex in Cheatham County, Tennessee, located in the Southeastern United States. 12/14/2020 . The site is managed by the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation as part of Harpeth River State Park. The principal mound at Mound Bottom originally stood at least 36 feet tall and measured about 246 feet along each side of its base, and is oriented approximately 11 degrees east of north. Mound Bottom is now designated as Mound Bottom State Archaeological Area and is under the management of the Harpeth River State Park. USGS topo map and bare earth (LiDAR) image of Tennessee’s Mound Bottom State Archaeological Area. Mound Bottom is a large Mississippian Period Indian Mound Complex. Cox excavated at least 70 graves and tested nine mounds No report on those excavations was published. The site includes at least 12 earthen mounds which were constructed between A.D. 1100 and 1300. Mound Bottom, Harpeth River State Park. [11], In 1923, William E. Myer, also working with the Smithsonian, carried out the first modern investigation of the Mound Bottom site. [4], In 2005, Mound Bottom became part of Harpeth River State Park, a "linear park" connecting several archaeological, historical, and natural areas along the lower Harpeth. Interpretive Programs. Visitors can see a piece of the living history by visiting the park’s main attraction, the Native American mound. Archaeological data from the Middle Cumberland region suggest that Mound Bottom grew as a regional center during the 12th and 13th centuries CE, expanding its sphere of influence first along the Harpeth River drainage and then eastward through the Nashville Basin. Together the Mound Bottom site and Pack Site contain up to 34 earthen mounds, including between 11 and 14 at Mound Bottom and 20 at Pack. For those who haven’t tuned in before, Mound Bottom State Archaeological Area includes one of the largest Mississippian period mound complexes in Tennessee. Mound A was constructed in at least four stages beginning around 1000 CE, and would have originally supported one or more structures on its summit. The results of those excavations were published in 2012 in the journal Southeastern Archaeology. Donated by Karl and Madira Bickel, they believed that the history of this area would be better preserved by the state. One Hundred Years of Archaeology at Gordontown: A Fortified Mississippian Town in Middle Tennessee. The Link Farm State Archaeological Area (40 HS 6), also known as the Duck River Temple Mounds or Duck River Site, is a Mississippian culture archaeological site located at the confluence of the Duck and Buffalo Rivers south of Waverly in Humphreys County, Tennessee. [7] This is followed in turn by a gradual abandonment of the region toward the end of the fourteenth century. Archaeological evidence suggests most of these mounds were originally flat-topped and, like Mound A, built to support structures on their summits. [2] At Mound Bottom, the principal large flat-topped mound and up to 13 additional smaller mounds were arranged around a central plaza. Castalian Springs Mounds State Archaeological Area, The Johnston Site: Precursor to Pinson Mounds?, Tennessee Anthropologist, Southeastern Archaeology article on TDOA Mound Bottom explorations, WPA work at Mound Bottom and Pack (UA Press book chapter), Return to the Great Mound Group: 2016 Investigations at Mound Bottom State Archaeological Area, Geophysical Study at Old Stone Fort State Archaeological Park, Manchester, Tennessee, OLD STONE FORT: MYSTERY, INDUSTRY, AND LEISURE IN A LOVELY GREEN SPACE by Hobart Akin, Pinson Mounds: Middle Woodland Ceremonialism in the Midsouth, Middle Woodland Ceremonialism at Pinson Mounds, American Antiquity. The mounds, which consists of earthwork platform and burial mounds, a central plaza, and habitation areas, was occupied between approximately 1000 and 1300 AD. In the late 1860s, Joseph Jones of the Smithsonian Institution investigated several prehistoric sites in Tennessee, and reported "extraordinary aboriginal works" at Mound Bottom. Bare Earth DEM processed by Zada Law. Mound Bottom State Archaeological Area, Pegram, Tennessee. [3], Mound Bottom and the adjacent pictograph at May's Mace Bluff were the inspiration for the 2014 Tennessee Archaeology Awareness Month poster, created by the Tennessee Council for Professional Archaeology. Thanks to the small group who toured Mound Bottom State Archaeological Area with Division staff this morning. In 1936, 1937, and 1940 the University of Tennessee conducted excavations at both Mound Bottom and the Pack Site under the auspices of the Works Progress Administration. The Mound Bottom site was acquired by the State of Tennessee in 1973, and today is managed as part of the Harpeth River State Park. Noel ... Tennessee, commemorates the history of the Trail of Tears in the area. Mound Bottom, a state-owned archaeological area, lies in a horseshoe bend of the Harpeth River. In 2008 an adjacent 65-acre parcel including additional site area was purchased with the assistance of Tennessee Parks and Greenways Foundation. Sellars Farm Site (), also known as the Sellars Farm State Archaeological Area and Sellars Indian Mound, is a Mississippian culture archaeological site located in Wilson County, Tennessee near Lebanon.The platform mound was the site of a settlement from about 1000 to 1300 CE. The Adena are credited with being the first group of Mound Builders in North America, having emerged at about 1000 B.C. The group will tour the Mound area and walk the path around the Mound, which is near Spring Creek, a tributary of the Cumberland River. However, emerging evidence suggests that regional climate shifts and particularly a multi-generational drought may have exacerbated political instability. Mound Bottom has been listed on the National Register since 1971, but the original form was just a few pages containing little information, said Aaron Deter-Wolf, the state … Madira Bickel Mound State Archaeological Site is Florida’s first state archaeological site, protected since 1948. Guided tours by reservation only, from November to March. Mound Bottom State Archaeological Area is an ancient Native American mound center in Cheatham County, Tennessee that dates to the Mississippian period of regional prehistory (ca. [3][4] The mound summit was originally accessed via a ramp or staircase located at the midpoint of the eastern face. Mound Bottom is part of the largest prehistoric mound group in Tennessee, and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Nearby is Mound Bottom, a state-owned site consisting of 34 ancient Native American mounds, accessible only by guided tour. A gloomy day view of Mound Bottom, a state owned archaeological area, lies in a horseshoe bend of the Harpeth River. Bare Earth DEM processed by Zada Law. USGS topo map and bare earth (LiDAR) image of Tennessee’s Mound Bottom State Archaeological Area. 1000–1350 CE). Shortly after this point, population in the Middle Cumberland region of Tennessee seems to decline rapidly, and Mississippian occupations largely vanish from the area by 1425 CE. George E. Lankford, "Regional Approaches to Iconographic Art." Mound Bottom State Archaeological Area is under the management of Harpeth River State Park. This 125-acre island is located in the Estero Bay, and was created over 2,000 years ago by the indigenous tribe known as the Calusa, or 'fierce people'. Mound Bottom Site - A large, 1,000 year-old Mississippian Period town site located on the Harpeth River in Cheatham County, Tennessee. According to Moore and Smith (2009, page 210), by A.D. 1475, Mississippian settlement of the region drop well below the level of archaeological visibility. Mound Bottom is today located approximately 1-mile (1.6 km) north of the point where U.S. Route 70 crosses the Harpeth River, on the outskirts of Kingston Springs. Archaeological Expeditions of the Peabody Museum in Middle Tennessee, 1877-1884. [2][10], By A.D. 1350, Mound Bottom and Pack appear to have been abandoned as a major centers, and while mound building and repair ceased, both sites continued to be used as burial locations. to 1 A.D. We are disappointed to announce the cancellation of the 33rd annual Current Research in Tennessee Archaeology meeting due to COVID-19. The main site area was purchased by the State of Tennessee in 1973, and in 2005 became part of the Harpeth River State Park. [6] In addition to the earthen, mounds, the site also included hundreds of houses, cemeteries, and agricultural fields. According to early historical reports the Mound Bottom complex was surrounded by an earthen wall topped with a palisade of upright logs. Archaeologists believe this Native American town had important political and ceremonial functions. Mound Bottom is under the management of Harpeth River State Park: Harpeth River State Park Harpeth River State Park brochure in pdf format. The Mound Bottom site is likely associated with another mound complex located just over a mile to the south known as the Pack Site, or Great Mound Division, and together they have been called the "Great Mound Group." Archaeology provides a glimpse into the lives of past peoples and histories that may have otherwise been forgotten. Mound Bottom (Mound Bottom State Archaeological Area – Cheatham County In 1971 the Mound Bottom State Archaeological Area was listed in the National Register for its statewide importance as a prehistoric Native American site. First surveyed in 1804. This change corresponds to a period of apparent political destabilization in the region, as the centralized authority of Mound Bottom and other large early sites gave way to fortified, autonomous village centers. The complex, which consists of earthen platform and burial mounds, a 7-acre central plaza, and habitation areas, was occupied between approximately 1000 and 1300 AD,[1] during the Mississippian period. The Mound Bottom site is owned and protected by the State of Tennessee and included on the National Register of Historic Places, the National Park Service’s program to identify, evaluate, and protect America's historic and archaeological resources. [5] However, any sign of the palisade had been plowed away by the early 1920s. Early Tennessee historian John Haywood noted Mound Bottom's importance as an aboriginal site in 1823, and early settlers reported seeing large fortifications and towers at the site. Drone footage of Mound Bottom courtesy of Harpeth River State Park and Hawkeye Media. The Mound Bottom State Archaeological Area in Cheatham County is a Native American site from the Mississippian period that consists of several earthen mounds, residential footprints, cemetery areas and petroglyphs. Major occupations at Mound Bottom ended by around 1350 CE, at a time when the Middle Cumberland region witnessed an overall decentralization of political authority. Mound Bottom State Archaeological Area is an ancient Native American mound … Tennessee state archaeologist P.E. Michael C. Moore, Emanuel Breitburg, Kevin E. Smith, and Mary Beth Trubitt. [12], View of the central plaza and platform mound at Mound Bottom, from May's Mace Bluff, Michael C. Moore, David H. Dye, and Kevin E. Smith, "WPA Excavations at the Mound Bottom and Pack Sites in Middle Tennessee, 1936-1940." It can only be visited by signing up for a ranger led tour. Grave Creek Mound Archaeological Complex is the largest of the Adena Burial mounds, having been constructed between 250 and 150 B.C. Both free and fee-based tours of the site are offered throughout the year by the Harpeth River State Park and the Tennessee Division of Archaeology. In order to protect and preserve this unique resource, access to Mound Bottom is prohibited without permission of the Harpeth River State Park or Tennessee Division of Archaeology. Geophysical survey and remote sensing data reveal that Mound Bottom was not a vacant ritual center, but that instead structures or residences were present throughout the site, including around the base of the mounds. Mound Bottom State Archaeological Area is an ancient Native American mound center in Cheatham County, Tennessee that dates to the Mississippian period of regional prehistory (ca. 30 Days of Tennessee Archaeology, Day 14: The 2014 Tennessee Archaeology Awareness Month Poster! Myer uncovered evidence of a structure and hearth atop one of the mounds at the Pack site and evidence of 10 ancient houses at Mound Bottom. A Preliminary Assessment of Mississippian Settlement in the Little Harpeth River Watershed: The Inglehame Farm Site (40WM342) Revisited; The Copper Creek Site (40SU317): A Multicomponent Mortuary Site in Goodlettsville, Sumner County, Tennessee In May 2011, Illinois State Archaeological Survey (ISAS) personnel encountered a large area of unusual fills at the East St. Louis Mound Complex (11S706) during excavations for the new Mississippi River Bridge (NMRB) project. The site core includes at least 12 earthen mounds oriented around a 7-acre plaza within a meander bend of the Harpeth River. Due to structural similarities in the mounds and ceramic chronologies, these sites are believed to have been contemporaneous.[1]. [7], Early Tennessee historian John Haywood noted Mound Bottom's importance as an aboriginal site in 1823, and early settlers reported seeing large fortifications and towers at the site. Return to the Great Mound Group: 2016 Investigations at Mound Bottom State Archaeological Area. Based on artifact types and skeletal examinations, it appears these founders may have come from the American Bottom, and possibly from the site of Cahokia. Take advantage of those nice winter days to enjoy your Tennessee State Parks! A recent view of the plaza at Mound Bottom State Archaeological Area. It consists of a large Mississippian civic or ceremonial center with a number of earthen temple mounds dating to the Late Prehistoric Period (AD 900-1350).Access: Montgomery Bell State Park is open daily, hiking permit required. In, U.S. National Register of Historic Places, Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, 30 Days of Tennessee Archaeology, Day 13: A Visit to Mound Bottom, Mound Bottom: Archaeological Treasures in Cheatham County, An Example of Intentional Late Prehistoric Dental Mutilation from Middle Tennessee. Mound Bottom is a prehistoric Native American complex located in Kingston Springs. Mound Bottom is also an experience of a lifetime and well worth the tour — I plan on covering it in a separate post. The state did purchase the land in the 1970's and removed trees growing into the mounds and embankment. [1][7][9] As a result of this connection, the Middle Cumberland Culture in Tennessee was part of the larger Mississippian Ideological Interaction Sphere (previously known as the Southern Cult and Southeastern Ceremonial Complex), which connected late prehistoric cultures from the Great Lakes, Gulf Coast, and the Appalachian Mountains. Mound Bottom State Archaeological Area is an ancient Native American mound complex in Cheatham County, Tennessee. Archaeology provides a glimpse into the lives of past peoples and histories that may have otherwise been forgotten. Mound Bottom State Archaeological Area web site. The Mound Bottom bend is one in a series of sharp bends found along the lower Harpeth as the river twists and turns through a steep gorge en route to its confluence with the Cumberland River several miles to the north. While some smaller mound centers in the Middle Cumberland continued to be active after 1350 CE, settlements in the region largely shifted away from mound centers and to fortified village sites. The specific factors which brought about the end of the Mississippian period in the Middle Cumberland remain the subject of ongoing investigation. The Mound Bottom State Archaeological Area in Cheatham County is a Native American site from the Mississippian period that consists of several earthen mounds, residential footprints, cemetery areas and petroglyphs. Cox followed up on Myer's finds in 1926, uncovering a number of stone box burials and baked clay floors. The Pack Site is located on private property approximately 1.5 miles (2.4 km) southwest of Mound Bottom, just south of US-70, and is not open for visitation. The ten-acre site is home to the Temple Mound and the Prine Burial Mound. The site core includes at least 12 earthen mounds oriented around a 7-acre plaza within a meander bend of the Harpeth River. Self-guided interpretive signs are posted at most sites. This area was a hotbed of activity for Indians during the Mississippian Period (A.D. 1000-1450). The late prehistoric Native American culture of the Nashville Basin has been referenced in older and non-scholarly sources as being either the Mound Builders or the Stone Graves Race. These individuals likely had some connection to the paramount Mississippian site of Cahokia, which is today located across the Mississippi River from the city of St. Louis. Mound Bottom is situated on a … Kuttruff and O'Brien tested six mounds and 19 houses. mound bottom state archaeological are a Aaron Deter- Wolf, Sunny Fleming, and Sarah Levithol Eckhardt The Mound Bottom site is located along the Harpeth River west of Nashville, and with the Mound Bottom State Archaeological Area is located along the Harpeth River in Cheatham County, and includes one of the largest Mississippian period archaeological sites in Middle Tennessee. The Harpeth surrounds Mound Bottom on the north, south, and east, while the entry to the bend from the west is marked by rocky uplands. In 1838 the the mound was measured as being 69 feet tall, and 295 feet in diameter. The meander bend containing the Mound Bottom site was farmed for nearly a century prior to its purchase by the State of Tennessee, and as a result historic plowing has altered the original size and shape of the mounds surrounding the main plaza. Link Farm State Archaeological Area The Link Farm site represents a Mississippian period mound complex established at the confluence of the Duck and Buffalo Rivers in Humphreys County perhaps as early as AD 1100. [1] Some of these are flat-topped platform mounds that supported structures including ceremonial buildings or elite residences, while others were burial mounds. An Example of Intentional Late Prehistoric Dental Mutilation from Middle Tennessee by William O. Autry, Hopewell Culture National Historical Park, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Mound_Bottom&oldid=895111812, Protected areas of Cheatham County, Tennessee, Archaeological sites on the National Register of Historic Places in Tennessee, National Register of Historic Places in Cheatham County, Tennessee, Short description is different from Wikidata, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 2 May 2019, at 02:15. Mound A, the largest platform mound at the site, is tucked into the trees to the right of the frame. Parmenio Edward Cox, Tennessee's first State Archaeologist, conducted a month of fieldwork at Mound Bottom in 1926. Those excavations were directed by Charles Nash, and examined several cemeteries and a burial mound. 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