Spiro

 Spiro Mounds are located on a 150-acre prehistoric American Indian archaeological site located near the town of Spiro, Oklahoma. The site would cover 195 football fields. There are eight mounds located in the site and the mounds are part of the Mississippian culture. They were made by people that are the ancestors of Caddoan-speaking peoples. The mounds are burial sites that have many artifacts and human remains in them. The Spiro Mounds are a part of a time period in archaeology known as the Mississippian. The Spiro Mounds are important because they are located along the Arkansas River and the people of Spiro influenced many of the people they traded with. The people of Spiro sent emissaries as far away as present-day Florida, the Gulf of Mexico, and the west coast.

The Spiro Mounds are special because before archaeologists could excavate, looters destroyed several of the mounds looking for interesting and profitable artifacts. Once a law passed making it illegal to loot the Spiro Mounds, the state hired archaeologists to do cultural resource management work to preserve the site. The archaeologists surveyed the site and looked for evidence of artifacts and features. After the survey, they excavated the features and recorded their context. Some of the features they found were the eight mounds and the remains of the surrounding village. Some of the artifacts in the matrixes were shells, sherds, whole pots, copper artifacts, and masks. After excavation, the archaeologist went back to the lab and placed the artifacts into classifications, typically using seriation, so they could better understand the evidence. Today, archeologists still work to identify features at Spiro Mounds. Recently they have used ground-penetrating radar (GPR) to locate housing areas.

Oklahoma Historical Society. “Spiro Mounds.” http://www.okhistory.org/outreach/museums/spiromounds.html. 2010.

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