Rock Eagle Effigy Mound
County:Putnam
City:Eatonton
Type:Roadside
Synopsis:

Rock Eagle Effigy Mound is one of two such mounds in the United States (the other is at the entrance to Georgia Power's Lawrence Shoal Park on Lake Oconee) and possibly pre-dates all other effigy mounds. The 1500-acre park surrounding the enigmatic effigy is today used as a 4-H Center. Access to the effigy is permitted through-out the year and is free.

The Mound at Rock Eagle

There is strong evidence that the area near Rock Eagle Effigy Mound was occupied by Archaic Indians some 5,000 years ago, however, it is unlikely that the effigy existed at that time. The most likely builders of the mound are Woodland Indians, who inhabited this area from 1,000BC to 1,000AD. While it is possible that the people who built Rock Eagle were part of the Hopewell or the Adena Culture, it is more likely that these Woodland Indians were a distinct cultural development. Archeologist Charles C. Jones, most noted for his excavation of the Etowah Indian Mounds in Cartersville, produced the earliest known measurements of the mounds in 1877 (120 feet from head to toe, 102 feet from wingtip to wingtip).

During the 1930's A. R. Kelly of the University of Georgia excavated the breast area of Rock Eagle, finding a single set of human remains and a projectile point that may or may not be associated with the effigy. In 1954 Kelly reported that both Rock Eagle and Rock Hawk showed indications of having been enclosed by a wall of material similar to the rocks used to construct the effigies. This, perhaps, associates them with the builders of similar walls at Stone Mountain (destroyed, 1923) and Fort Mountain (still standing)

About the park

In the 1930's the mound and the surrounding land was sold to the United States government by Florence Scott. The Works Progress Administration (WPA), in association with the University of Georgia, built a granite stone tower to make viewing the effigy possible. From the tower at the foot of the effigy, the eagle spreads out and its shape is easily seen. They also completed an extensive renovation of the site, including the removal of plants from the mounds and the replacement of rock that had been scattered near the site. The mound itself rises some 10 feet above ground level and consists of thousands of small to medium size rocks of milky quartz (quartzite).

Seeing the park

Today the park, part of the University of Georgia, has the mound and a natural history museum that includes information on the Woodland Indians of the area. Group camping is available for a fee, and there are numerous hiking trails throughout. Direct access to the mound is prohibitedFor more information call:



Location: U. S. Highway 441 South of Madison, GA
Directions: From Atlanta:Take I-20 east to Exit 114 (U. S. Route 441/129). Turn right at the top of the ramp and continue south on Rt. 441 for 15 miles. Turn right into Rock Eagle.
Additional information:
Phone:706.484.2862.
Address:Environmental Education Program
350 Rock Eagle Road
Eatonton, GA, 31024

Date added: November 16, 2003
Last update: December 6, 2003



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