Poverty Point, Louisiana

Poverty Point Travel Blog

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Poverty Point mounds are a rare remnant of an advanced culture that thrived here from 1650 to 700BC. Estimates are that it took about five million man hours to build the sites visible earthworks. Dirt was carried to the site in baskets with about 50-pounds of capacity. The organization and engineering knowledge of this community was advanced. The visible mound complex covers about 400 acres. This is a significant accomplishment for a pre-agricultural society. The most interesting mound system consists of six rows of concentric low ridges. These ridges may have been 5 feet high based on estimates from observing the least eroded ridge remnants located in the wooded portions of the site. The distance from the inner to outer ridge is about 3500 feet.

Based on excavation data, these ridges were the foundations for dwellings and general domestic uses. The population of Poverty Point received raw materials from great distances. Stone for projectile points and other tools may have from as far away as the Ouachita and Ozark Mountains and the Ohio and Tennessee River valleys. Soapstone that was manufactured into vessels may have originated from the Appalachian foothills of northern Alabama and Georgia. This is certainly one of the largest known mound complexes in the US. The US Department of the Interior  designated Poverty Point a National Historic Landmark. The facility now includes an interpretive museum, special events program and guided tours in it's offerings. Tram tours are now available daily at 9:30 a.m., 11 a.m., 12:30 p.m., 2 p.m. and 3:30, from March 1 through October 31. 

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Poverty Point
photo by: geokid