Around the Mounds

These ancient earthworks are impressive to me … the work it took to create them, the engineering, the mysterious reasons they were created.  And they are landmarks that I can see.  But the flat land that surrounds them probably holds just as many secrets.

People lived their lives around the mounds.  That’s where they worked – fashioning projectile points and plummets.  That’s where they raised their families, cooked their food, played games, lived their every day lives.  So many remnants of what those lives were like must have become covered with leaf litter and river silt, getting buried ever deeper as the years passed.

Now they lie beneath houses and barns and row crops.  I wonder how many of those artifacts are still left in the layers of dirt below them.  Are they, too, waiting for someone to come along and find them.  Or were they destroyed as foundations were laid or land was plowed?

Our planet is filled with so many unknowns.  To learn more about it we can go to the depths of the oceans … or deep into unexplored jungles … through underwater caves or across frozen tundra.  Or we can grab a shovel and dig below the cornfields of Richland Parish.

From atop Insley Mound D, near Delhi, LA.  The site was occupied as early as 1700-1000 BC.  The mounds have been dated to around AD 700-1200.  The site may have once contained as many as 13 mounds.  Only 2 are clearly visible.  Another is close by but more difficult to see.  7 mounds were leveled before they could be studied. [From the Indian Mounds Driving Guide.]

13 mounds.  A village?  How many people lived here?  Why, after so many years of occupation, did they decide to begin building mounds?

I look out over the cornfields and wonder about the 7 mounds that were once there.  Gone forever.

Thanks to Mr. Lynch, owner of the land surrounding the Insley Mounds, for allowing me to climb to the top.  And for taking time in the sweltering heat to tell me stories.


About Jenny Ellerbe

I am a photographer living, and working, in northeastern Louisiana.
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1 Response to Around the Mounds

  1. Chrissy Chapman says:

    Would love to hear your stories from Mr. Lunch. Am looking into lower Jackson mound currently.


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