Thursday, January 21, 2010

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

Click here for the first post in this series.

And, as always, click on each photo here to view a larger image.

Now, back now to our regularly scheduled programming, so to speak. That dinner last night at Macon’s own Fish N’ Pig was a delight. But we’re really here to learn more about American Indian Mound cultures.

Lodge Distant Mr. Jim David, long-serving Superintendent of the Ocmulgee National Monument, generously agreed to an audio interview earlier today. I told his assistant it would take only five minutes or so. But in the event, we talked for over a half-hour! I learned a lot.

Jim’s enthusiasm for the Site, and for his role in preserving and presenting it to the public, was evident throughout. He clearly enjoys talking about Ocmulgee, and does so regularly to school and community groups throughout the year.

During our chat I asked Jim what he considered the most important aspect of the Ocmulgee Site. He replied without hesitation, “The Earthlodge.”

Click here to listen to Jim’s response to that question.

Some folks had difficulty getting the embedded mp3 files to play last time. So instead of embedding here, the above links directly to the file hosted on my LibSyn account. It should open and play immediately in your default audio program. Let me know if you have any difficulty.

Sign Here’s a snap of the sign near the Lodge. Have a close look at the rare photo taken during the 1930s discovery and restoration work. All told, over 800 people were involved in that restoration effort.

Entry As Mr. David mentioned during his interview, the roof and earthen structure over the clay floor and circle of seats has been reconstructed. That includes the entryway you see above.

EntrywayHere’s another view of the low entry hall, from just inside the door. If you look closely, you’ll see the photographer wannabe’s reflection in the background on the glass wall protecting the exhibit.

The Lodge structure is oriented precisely so that sun shines directly through this entryway only twice a year, on February 22nd and October 22nd, illuminating the three seats on the raised platform. Two important dates for an agricultural society: planting and harvest.

Bird-Shaped Platform The glass enclosure makes photography near impossible inside. But here, I hope, you can see the outlines of the bird-shaped platform. And the three large seats at its rear.

Seats Dipper Here you can see – hopefully – how the remaining 47 seats around the circle descend in height and size. As well as one of the huge pillars that supported the roof of the structure.

Seat Dipper Closeup This is a close-up of a clay vessel and dipper found here, as well as more detail of the individual seats.

If you haven’t done so already, go back and listen to Mr. David’s explanation of the significance of this incredible Earthlodge. You also can find more information about the Lodge on the Ocmulgee website. Click here for that.

Next time we’ll take a closer look at the Great Temple Mound here at Ocmulgee. So stay tuned.

Click here for the next post in this series.

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