Kolomoki Mounds, 350-750 AD, Early County

kolomoki mounds national historic landmark temple mound photograph copyright brian brown vanishing south georgia usa 2016

Located along Kolomoki Creek, a tributary of the nearby Chattahoochee River, Kolomoki Mounds is among the largest Woodland Period burial and temple complexes in the Southeast.  The site dates to 350-750AD/CE and may have been one of the most populous settlements north of Mexico at the time. Most of the mounds are quite small in contrast to the Temple Mound (seen above), which has a base of 325 by 200 feet and a height of 56 feet. It is believed that the Temple Mound was used for religious ceremonies and there is speculation that the chieftain’s house was located on the west side (seen below) of the mound, which is slightly higher than the east side.

kolomoki mounds early county ga temple mound photograph copyright brian brown vanishing south georgia usa 2016

Various tribes made this site home, including Weeden Island, Kolomoki, and Lamar Indians.

kolomoki mounds ga view from atop temple mound photograph copyright brian brown vanishing south georgia usa 2016

This view, from atop the Temple Mound, looks out onto a vast plaza. This was a typical layout for Woodland villages. The plaza would have included various houses of wattle and daub construction, roofed with local grasses. In its time, all of this would have been exposed red clay.

kolomoki mounds temple mound stairs photograph copyright brian brown vanishing south georgia usa 2016

Looking down the steps to the plaza gives some perspective as to the size of the temple mound.

kolomoki mounds national historic landmark photograph copyright brian brown vanishing south georgia usa 2016

This burial mound, on the plaza, is known simply as Mound D. At 20 feet, it’s one of the largest extant Woodland burial mounds. It was completely excavated in the early 1950s; radiocarbon dating has suggested it was built around 30AD/CE, with a margin of error of 300 years. More information about the site’s smaller mounds and a history of archaeological excavations conducted here over the years can be found at the New Georgia Encyclopedia. Sadly, a theft at the site in 1974 resulted in the loss of numerous pieces of pottery and other artifacts. It’s hoped that an inventory of the stolen items, which are still sought by the park, will eventually lead to some of them being recovered.

kolomoki mounds state historic park gopher tortoise photograph copyright brian brown vanishing south georgia usa 2016

There is much to see at Kolomoki Mounds State Park, including abundant wildlife and flora. This Gopher Tortoise (Gopherus polyphemus), covered in red clay, was crossing the main road in the park. They were likely quite abundant here in the Woodland Period.

National Historic Landmark

 

8 Comments

Filed under --EARLY COUNTY GA--

8 responses to “Kolomoki Mounds, 350-750 AD, Early County

  1. Sallie Jackson

    My sister, Johnnie, and I went there one 4th of July. Walked to the top, via those steps; it was rough then. If you have breathing problems, I would suggest not climbing them. I could not do it now. It was interesting though. Then we went to the covered bridge not far from there and had a picnic lunch. She died in 2006; miss those days.

  2. BK Logan

    Interesting articles but I scrolled down both the Counties and the cities and note that Chatham County no the city of Savannah have a reference under your heading of PLACES. Indian King’s Tomb, Irene, Bilbo, Brewton Hill, Dulaney and Deptford are all located in or near Savannah. Dr. Antonio Waring of ‘The Waring Papers’ hailed from Savannah. Just an observation…please keep up your hard work in getting the material out there.

  3. Pattie Georgia-Peach Norton

    Another place I’m glad I climbed while I still could!

  4. Mary Calhoun

    I enjoyed going there On field trips. Enjoyed and appreciated it more when I went one last time with my Daddy and brother before they died.

  5. Joe Sanders

    My family held family reunions there for many years 50’s until early 2000’s. Most who attended have died and so did the reunion.

  6. Victor McGough

    My aunt took me to a museum in Macon once. It contained much material and info about the Native Americans in the area. There sere several mounds that we climbed on top of. Do you know the reason the mounds were built. If I knew I have forgotten.

  7. Dee white

    On some land I used to live in there is a mound and it has rocks placed in a order and I have found so much pottery and even tools near it

  8. Wow! Beautiful mounds and Plaza. I can only imagine the history and stories that are buried in those mounds.

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