Time and Place
The Marksville site is in Avoyelles Parish on high ground next to Old River. About 2,000 years ago, American Indians built a group of earthworks here. The site has six mounds and one ring enclosed by a C-shaped earthen ridge. The ridge is known as the embankment. Other earthworks, including a circle and more rings, are outside the embankment. Marksville covered at least 60 acres and was the largest site in use in Louisiana at that time. It was a place where people gathered for ceremonies and to mourn the dead.
People used the site from A.D. 1 to A.D. 400, during the Middle Woodland period. That time is when the Hopewell culture spread from the Midwest over much of the eastern half of North America. Marksville shows a great deal of Hopewell influence. After A.D. 400, the way of life at Marksville changed, and people left the site. Archaeologists started to study the site about 100 years ago.
What else was going on around the world in Marksville’s day? This was the era of the Five Good Emperors in the Roman Empire, which was at the height of its power. In South America, the Moche had come to power in Peru. Meanwhile, the Kushan dynasty in northern India began spreading Buddhism in the region.
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