Etowah Indian Mounds State Park
Type:State Park, Native American, Museum
Etowah Indian Mounds State Park
Etowah Mounds State Park, Cartersville, Georgia
Just west of the confluence of Pumpkinvine Creek and the Etowah River a V-shape rock wall impedes the water of the rivers. At least 500 years old the wall is one of the lasting reminders of the Mississippian Culture who controlled this portion of Northwest Georgia. A few feet from it are three much larger reminders of this culture, huge mounds that gave these Indians their common name, Moundbuilders. The culture that began in the Mississippi Delta perhaps more than 4,000 years ago spread to this part north Georgia as early as 850AD and flourished at this site from 950AD to 1450AD, when they left, perhaps moving further northeast. Near this ancient city runs the Hightower Trail, its name a corruption of the Creek word for city italwa. By the time Hernando deSoto visited the area in 1540-41, the Moundbuilder population was in steep decline. Today, many people believe that the Creek Indians are descendants of this earlier culture.

Purchased after the sixth Georgia land lottery by Lewis Tumlin, he and his family served as caretakers of the mounds for almost 120 years. When the land was sold to the state for a park in 1953, Henry Tumlin served as superintendent until 1981.

Visiting the Etowah Indian Mounds

A museum in the visitors center serves as an introduction to the Moundbuilder culture and the society that lived at this site. The most notable pieces in the Etowah collection are "Ike" and "Mike," the two largest effigies ever discovered in a Moundbuilder site.

Visitors then cross a bridge over one of the "borrow pits" that encircle the mound. Once believed to have been moats, these pits were excavated to create the three predominant mounds roughly in the center of the park. Stairs allow access to the largest of the mounds, known as Mound A. Once on the top of this mound, turn around to see the ceremonial plaza much as one of the culture's religious leaders might have viewed in the 1400's. From this vantage point notice the other, smaller mounds, near the outskirts of the plaza.

Other sites on the Etowah Indian Mounds

Etowah Indian Mounds
Etowah Indian Mounds State Historic Site

Location: On the Etowah River near Cartersville
Directions: Take I-75 Exit 288. Go south on GA 113 following signs to Mounds approximately 5 miles
Additional information:
Etowah Indian Mounds
813 Indian Mounds Rd.
Cartersville, GA, 30120
Date added: November 16, 2003
Last update: May 31, 2004

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