Marker Logo HMdb.org THE HISTORICAL
MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near New Houlka in Chickasaw County, Mississippi — The American South (East South Central)
 

Archaeology at Owl Creek Mounds

Modern-Day Archaeology - Mound I

 
 
Archaeology at Owl Creek Mounds Marker image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, June 4, 2015
1. Archaeology at Owl Creek Mounds Marker
Inscription. In the summers of 1991 and 1992, archaeology field schools from Mississippi State University worked to learn more about the site. Most of the excavations were done on top of Mounds I and II, with small test units dug into Mounds III, IV, and V. Broken pieces of pottery and other artifacts were recovered. Information on pits, buildings, and mound construction stages was also gathered.

Because the mounds contained few artifacts, they probably were used for short-term ceremonies rather than as permanent chiefs’ residences.

In 1992, archaeologists searched for a village at Owl Creek. They dug shovel holes thirty yards apart over the entire site and sieved the dirt from 160 holes. Only a few broken pieces of pottery were found, which means that the site was not a place where many people lived. It was probably deserted for much of the year, between ceremonial gatherings.

Top View of Excavation
Many Mississippian mounds were platforms for temples or chiefs’ houses. The excavation on Mound I found evidence of a building that had been rebuilt several times. At one time, the south wall was 20 feet long. It had two short walls extending to the south which possibly formed screens at the top of the ramp. The ramp faced south into the plaza. The steps in use today were added in recent times.

Side
Owl Creek Mounds Archaeological Site image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, June 4, 2015
2. Owl Creek Mounds Archaeological Site
View of Excavation

Dirt layers of various colors, including gray, orange, olive green, and brown formed floors within the Mound I building. Perhaps a new layer was laid when the floor was renewed for ceremonial uses of the mound.
 
Erected by United States Forest Service and Mississippi State University.
 
Location. 34° 3.38′ N, 88° 55.461′ W. Marker is near New Houlka, Mississippi, in Chickasaw County. Marker can be reached from County Road 413 2.5 miles west of Natchez Trace Parkway, on the right when traveling west. Click for map. Marker is located at the Owl Creek Archaeological Site in Tombigbee National Forest. Marker is in this post office area: Houlka MS 38850, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 7 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Archaeology Determines the Age of Owl Creek Mounds (a few steps from this marker); a different marker also named Archaeology at Owl Creek Mounds (a few steps from this marker); De Soto's Expedition (a few steps from this marker); Owl Creek Mounds (within shouting distance of this marker); Hernando de Soto (approx. 2.6 miles away); Monroe Mission Station
Marker at Base of Owl Creek Mound I image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, June 4, 2015
3. Marker at Base of Owl Creek Mound I
(approx. 3.3 miles away); Chickasaw Agency (approx. 3.3 miles away); Tockshish (approx. 6.5 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in New Houlka.
 
Categories. Native AmericansScience & Medicine
 
Owl Creek Mound I image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, June 4, 2015
4. Owl Creek Mound I
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Duane Hall of Abilene, Texas. This page has been viewed 165 times since then and 3 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on , by Duane Hall of Abilene, Texas.   4. submitted on , by Duane Hall of Abilene, Texas. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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