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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Columbia in Houston County, Alabama — The American South (East South Central)
 

Omussee Creek Mound and Mississippian Period Societies

 

—Creek Heritage Trail —

 
Omussee Creek Mound and Mississippian Period Societies Marker image. Click for full size.
By Mark Hilton, March 14, 2018
1. Omussee Creek Mound and Mississippian Period Societies Marker
Inscription. Near where you stand lies Omussee Creek Mound, the southernmost platform mound along the Chattahoochee River, occupied approximately 1300 to 1550 A.D. as part of an important Native American settlement. This region of southeastern Alabama and southwestern Georgia was once home to one of the densest concentrations of mound centers in North America, and served as a key population and cultural center during what is referred to as the Mississippian era (ca. 1000 to approximately 1600 A.D.). In contrast to the less centrally organized societies which came before and after it, this era of Native American prehistory featured large, complex societies arranged into chiefdoms which practiced intensive agriculture. It receives its name from the Mississippi River Valley region in which the culture is believed to have originated.

The Mississippian peoples commonly built mound centers such as Omussee to serve as regional political capitals. Archaeologists have identified over a dozen major mound complexes along the lower Chattahoochee that were constructed during the era, each having once been home to large communities. During the time of its greatest activity the Omussee Mound is believed to have been the only such center in use along the southern reaches of the Chattahoochee. Accordingly, it is presumed
Omussee Creek Mound and Mississippian Period Societies Marker on left. image. Click for full size.
By Mark Hilton, March 14, 2018
2. Omussee Creek Mound and Mississippian Period Societies Marker on left.
to have held a position of much influence over a wide area. Mounds such as Omussee are often the only surviving portions of once-thriving towns that frequently featured palisade walls surrounding a large central plaza. Scattered family homes and small farms closely associated with the community would have been located over a wide area outside of the mound center. Elite members of Mississippian societies usually lived on top of the mounds, with some mounds serving as places of burial or serving other ceremonial functions.

Captions
Right middle map: This map shows the location of some of the largest Native American societies in North America during the occupation of Omussee Creek Mound.
Top right: This painting depicts one of the largest Mississippian communities, the Kincaid Mounds, in modern Illinois. Mississippian mound centers throughout North America had much in common both physically and culturally.
Bottom right map: This map shows the locations of Mississippian mound centers in the lower Chattahoochee River Valley during the height of activity at Omussee. Despite their prevalence in the region, today Omussee is the only Mississippian mound in the lower Chattahoochee Valley that is publicly accessible on'a regular basis. From The Chattahoochee Chiefdoms, by John H. Blitz and Karl G. Lorenz
Courtesy of the
View of marker on the side of the restroom building at the park boat ramp. image. Click for full size.
By Mark Hilton, March 14, 2018
3. View of marker on the side of the restroom building at the park boat ramp.
The Chattahoochee River is in the background.
University of Alabama Press

 
Erected 2015 by the Historic Chattahoochee Commission, the John P. and Dorothy S. Illges Foundation, Inc., the University of Alabama Center for Economic Development.
 
Location. 31° 16.589′ N, 85° 7.003′ W. Marker is near Columbia, Alabama, in Houston County. Marker is on Omussee Creek Road half a mile north of Picnic Road, on the right when traveling north. Touch for map. Located near the Omussee Creek Park boat ramp. Marker is at or near this postal address: Omussee Creek Road, Columbia AL 36319, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Omussee Creek Mound and the Ancestors of the Creeks (here, next to this marker); The Chacato People (here, next to this marker); Old Columbia Jail / Columbia (approx. 1.1 miles away); Columbia, Alabama (approx. 1.2 miles away); Columbia Methodist Episcopal Church, South (approx. 1.2 miles away); Columbia Cemetery (approx. 1.2 miles away); Columbia Baptist Church (approx. 1.3 miles away); Purcell - Killingsworth House (approx. 1½ miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Columbia.
 
Categories. Native AmericansSettlements & SettlersWaterways & Vessels
 
Park sign at intersection of Picnic Road & Omussee Creek Road. image. Click for full size.
By Mark Hilton, March 14, 2018
4. Park sign at intersection of Picnic Road & Omussee Creek Road.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on March 16, 2018. This page originally submitted on March 15, 2018, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama. This page has been viewed 82 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on March 15, 2018, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.
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