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Toltec Mounds profiled

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Dane Brehem
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« on: April 09, 2009, 01:02:13 am »

Toltec Mounds profiled

Stuttgart, Ark. -
Within 35 miles and less than a one-hour drive from Stuttgart is Toltec Mounds Archeological State Park, just off Highway 165 North.

The Toltec Mounds, located in the park, are some of the largest and most impressive archeological sites in the Mississippi River Valley Region of the United States.

"People started living at this place we call Toltec Mounds some time before 700 A.D.," Robin Gabe, park interpreter at Toltec Mounds Archeological Park, said. "Distinctive aspects of the culture of the people who lived here are the arrangement and construction of the mounds, the style of decoration on the pottery and the kinds of stone tolls."

Gabe said at first in the 1800ís historians and anthropologists thought the mounds had been built by the Toltec Indian tribes of Mexico, who were mound builders, but that was later proved to not be the case.

"The distinctive culture of Toltec Mounds is given the name of Plum Bayou, which is the name of a local stream," Gabe said. "We do not know what the Indians who built the mounds called themselves because they left no writing."

The people seem to have abandoned Toltec and this area sometime around 1050 A.D., however, it is unknown where these people went, nor do historians know who their descendants were, Gabe said.

"We do know that these people were impressive builders and that they planned the construction of this center." Gabe said.

Excavations of the mounds at the Toltec Mounds site have shown that they were built up of soil into platforms that were flat on top.

"These weren't all used at the same time, instead, some were built, used and abandoned and the other mounds were built," Gabe said.

Mound S was built about 750 to 800 A.D., while Mound D was used about 950 to 1050 A.D. The platform mounds were apparently used for ceremonies or as the locations of buildings such as a temple or a residence of an important person.

"The 39 foot high Mound B was also a platform," Gabe said. "It was built up in stages with each stage used for a period of time, so the mound increased in height gradually and it may have been used for 300 years."

Mound A, which is the highest mound at the park, hasn't been excavated and that leaves Mound C, which is known to have been a place of burial because of the discovery of a number of human bones.

The number of people living at Toltec Mounds at any given time was small, perhaps no more than 50 people and they were probably the religious and social leaders, along with their families.

The majority of the people lived in small villages or on farms in the surrounding countryside and the other people probably came to Toltec Mounds several times every year to participate in religious ceremonies and renew social and family ties.

There is a fee to enter the park and there are interpreters to accompany groups on a walking tour in the park. For more information, contact the park at (501) 961-9442.

http://www.stuttgartdailyleader.com/state_news/x1098989793/Toltec-Mounds-profiled
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Dane Brehem
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« Reply #1 on: April 09, 2009, 01:03:31 am »



Since 1975, Toltec Mounds Archeological Park was thought in the beginning to be made by the Toltec Indian tribe of Mexico but was later determined that another tribe of Indians, who are not named built the mounds. The tribe has been called The Plum Bayou Tribe, named after a nearby stream.
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Dane Brehem
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« Reply #2 on: April 09, 2009, 01:04:19 am »

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