Indian Mounds in Georgia

Eagle Mound, Putnam County, Georgia; built between 1000 BCE and 1000 CE by Woodlands Indians.  No evidence of use as a burial mound has been found, which points to a likely use as a ritual center.  Although currently called an "Eagle"Mound, it is unknown what type of bird this represented to the people who built it. The place is surrounded by trees and has a calm, quiet feel.  The eight foot high mound is 120 feet from head to tail, and consists of thousands of pieces of white quartz.  The difficulty of obtaining this much quartz has lead some to surmise that quartz was chosen for its' piezoelectric effect. 

Etowah Indian Mounds, Bartow County, Georgia.  There are six large flat topped earth pyramids here, originally covered with colored clay. They were probably spectacular to see.  The mounds were built between 950 and 1450 CE, and were built oriented to the four directions. 

Prior to Columbus, Indian cities and communities of this area were governed by hereditary chiefs, who gained their position through the mothers' line or from uncle to nephew; this form of social organization precludes the emphasis on social control of female sexuality found in patriarchal cultures.  The government of several geographic areas was apparently done by a council of regional chiefs, similar to that found in the Iroquois Federation which then influenced the  U.S. Constitution.

The builders of these mounds, called Mississippians by archaeologists, were descendents of nomadic groups who first settled in Georgia more than 11,000 years ago.  Some of the mounds are called "Temple Mounds" and were used more for ceremony and gatherings, trade and high status dwellings; other mounds were used for burials. Reverence for ancestors was an important part of their religion.  There is also evidence that these and other high vantage points were used as astronomical observatories.