Inhabited about 800 to 1000 years ago the Town Creek Indian Mound near Mount Gilead, North Carolina, may be one of the oldest villages in the area and is one of the most popular State Historic Sites in North Carolina.
It was once a bustling place that contained homes, work areas and ceremonial buildings, built on the banks of the Little River, a tributary of the Pee Dee.
The residents were once part of the Pee Dee culture and a regional hub of the Mississippian mound building culture. Archaeologists have been working on the site since 1937 and what’s unusual is the fact that it has been an ongoing program under one director.
Visitors can see the reconstructions of the main mound topped by a town house, a temple structure, a burial house, and the stockade. Added to this the original log stockade had guard towers at the northern and southern end and evidence shows five periods of stockade building.
What’s even more interesting are the mortuary areas where inhabitants were buried. Five hundred and sixty three burials are thought to be from the time of the Pee Dee culture. Some people were buried with copper and copper covered artifacts. Other items were made from imported sea shells.
The town appears to have been abandoned around a time when this culture declined elsewhere in North America.
All this research has made a significant contribution to understanding the original inhabitants of the continent and educational opportunities have been provided for students of anthropology.
Admission is free and, if you’re in the area, it’s only about 90 minutes from the city of Charlotte. It’s also close to the town of Albemarle (home to country singer Kelly Pickler, American Idol contestant).
If you’re a history buff or would-be time traveler and you’d like to see the times you can visit and get more detailed directions, click on the link Town Creek Indian Mound.