Monday, January 18, 2010

The Great Southeast American Indian Mound Tour of 2010. Part I

Table of Contents for This Series

  1. Introduction, objectives, and route
  2. Lake Tobesofkee Claystone Park, near Macon Georgia.
  3. First visit to the Ocmulgee National Monument
  4. Dinner at Macon, Georgia’s Fish ‘n Pig Restaurant.
  5. Second visit to Ocmulgee’s Mounds
  6. Third visit to Ocmulgee’s Mounds
  7. Fourth visit to Ocmulgee’s Mounds and Grounds
  8. Drive to Henderson Beach State Park, Destin Florida and initial impressions of Park
  9. Walk around Henderson Beach State Park
  10. Drive to Fort Walton Beach, FL, first visit to Mound, and lunch at Tom and Peggy Rice’s Magnolia Grill
  11. Visit Temple Mound in Ft Walton Beach and Interview with Museum Director Gail Lynn Meyer
  12. The Temple Mound Museum Visit
  13. Temple Mound Museum Collection, Continued.
  14.  Drive to McKinney COE Campground near Cartersville, Georgia, and campground
  15. Visit to Etowah Mound Site, Cartersville, GA
  16. Visit to Etowah Mound Site, Continued
  17. The Museum at the Etowah Mound Site

Tomorrow’s the day! Departure date of the Great Southeast American Indian Mound Tour of 2010.

Many of you have written to ask about the Tour since I first mentioned it back in early January. Well … one person, anyway. So, here’s a map of the route.

TourRoute First, Macon, Georgia. Then Fort Walton Beach, Florida. And finally, Cartersville, Georgia. Click on the map to see a larger, more readable image.

Why the sudden interest in pre-Columbian American Indian culture? And why these three sites in particular? You may well ask.

I’ve been interested in pre-Columbian North and South American societies for some time. Especially in the political aspects of those societies. Societies capable of producing the impressive structures we marvel at today had to have well developed, effective political systems.

Archeology isn’t my academic field. Far from it. So, these posts and accompanying photos will reflect the reactions of an interested tourist. Hardly the informed observations of a trained archeologist. Or even those of an experienced amateur.

Anasazi For me, it all began with mention of earlier Southwestern United States civilizations in Western novels. Louis L’Amour wrote about them in several of his books. As have a few Western writers since.

Reading their limited descriptions, I’ve long dreamed of visiting New Mexico and the Four Corners area to see the Anasazi ruins. Health issues have delayed that trip. It’s a “fur piece,” as we’d say OverHome, from South Carolina to New Mexico. Especially when hauling a travel trailer.

In the meantime, I began to read the popular and more accessible academic literature on the Anasazi, or Hisatsinom, culture. And branched from there out to more recent archeological work on pre-Columbian Mexican and South American societies.

But Mexico and South America too are unrealistically distant. So, some time last year I began reading about pre-Columbian inhabitants of the Southeastern United States. And discovered plenty of interesting sites within a day’s drive of Columbia, South Carolina!

Ocmulgee That leaves the question of site selection. Two factors determined these three locations. First was proximity to the South Carolina Midlands. The Ocmulgee Mounds in Macon, Georgia, are only 4 or 5 hours away, for example. It’s a bit longer between Macon and Fort Walton Beach, Florida. And between Fort Walton Beach and the Etowah Mounds at Cartersville, Georgia. But still manageable.

Ft Walton The second factor was the availability of interpretive material. Each of these three locations – Ocmulgee, Fort Walton Beach, and Cartersville’s Etowah – maintains a significant museum collection. And in the case of Fort Walton Beach, an accessible research library. Important resources.

Cartersville So, stay tuned! Depending upon WiFi access, I hope to post photos and commentary regularly along the way. Maybe even a short interview or two. We’ll see.

Click here for the next post in this series.


  1. Have a great trip, enjoy yourself!

  2. Good luck on your search. Please be on the look out for any indications that the original Anasazi might have migrated via the Pacific ocean from India-Polynesian Island-Central America rather than the other Indian cultures that came from China across the Bering Strait.

    Dean Norman
    I bought an Aliner!

  3. Great news, Dean. Congratulations on the Aliner. Hope to see you at a campground one of these days. And thanks too for the tip on Anasazi origins. Interesting!


  4. I like the new look. Looks like you have been having a great time!

  5. osiyo tohitsu qua qua ( Hello how are you Bob )

    Sorry I missed you when you visited the mounds in Cartersville, would love to have meet you and maybe shared a cup of coffee. Hope your stay at the campground on the lake was pleasant.

    Bobby Bagley

  6. Hi Bob,
    What a great trip you are having doing the "mound cultue"! You have sparked my interest into these people/civilization and I hope to retrace your footsteps on a trip this spring/summer. Good stuff.

    Two Feathers

  7. Thanks, TwoFeathers. Coming from you that means a lot. You've forgotten more about American Indian culture than I'll ever be able to learn. The interview in which you explain your tipi on this blog, by the way, still gets a lot of hits. Thanks again.