Historical Archaeology - the Chief's House and Temple
The Natchez chief called the Great Sun lived in a house on Mound B. The Jesuit missionary Pierre- François-Xavier de Charlevoix wrote that the Natchez houses were square or rectangular in floor plan with mud walls plastered on a wooden frame. Roofs were covered with thatched grass and cane mats. Of the chief's house, Charlevoix said, “It is larger and higher than the rest, placed on a somewhat elevated spot."
Several French colonists wrote descriptions of the Natchez temple on Mound C. Archaeology has also revealed the “footprint" of this historic structure. The building's floor plan, traced by lines of post holes, compares well with the colonial narratives.
Charlevoix described the Natchez temple in 1720 "The temple is very near the chief's cabin, turned toward the east, and at the end of the square. It is composed of the same materials as the cabins but its shape is different, it is a rectangle about 40 feet (long) by 20 feet wide ... at the two ends of the roof) there are what appear to be bird-shaped figures of wood, which may represent two eagles".
André Pénicaut, a French voyageur who visited the Natchez in 1704, wrote about the sacred fire that burned in the Natchez temple: "In this temple they have a fire which burns continuously, it represents the sun."
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Three Archaeological Excavations (here, next to this marker); Road to Fort Rosalie (within shouting distance of this marker); Historic Use of Ceremonial Mounds (within shouting distance of this marker); Conflict with the French (within shouting distance of this marker); Historic Plaza (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Native Structures (about 300 feet away); Ceremonial Center (about 400 feet away); Abandoned Mound (about 600 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Natchez.
More about this marker. Located on the grounds of the Grand Village of the Natchez Historic site.
Categories. • Native Americans •
Credits. This page was last revised on March 6, 2018. This page originally submitted on March 6, 2018, by Cajun Scrambler of Assumption, Louisiana. This page has been viewed 36 times since then. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on March 6, 2018.