Top Site FAQs

(Frequently Asked Questions)

Q1. What American Indian tribe(s) built Marksville?


Archaeologists do not know what tribe lived at the Marksville site 2,000 years ago. However, the Avoyel Indians, who met the first European explorers in the area, may have descended from the people who built the site. In the late 1700s, the Avoyel joined with the Ofo, Tunica, and Biloxi tribes, as they moved to the area. Today, the Tunica-Biloxi Tribe of Louisiana lives in Marksville.


Q2. What religion did the people of Marksville practice?


Archaeologists are still learning about the religious beliefs of the Hopewell tradition. The fact that only certain animals show up in Hopewell art may mean those creatures were sacred. The Hopewell practice of enclosing mounds within embankments forming geometric patterns may also speak to religious beliefs. The people who built Marksville could have shared these beliefs or adapted them to fit with their existing views.


Q3. Why did American Indians build the mounds at Marksville in geometric patterns?


Archaeologists do not know why people built the mounds and embankments in geometric patterns. These patterns may have simply been attractive to the people who built the site. However, the fact that many Hopewell-era sites have similar designs may mean that there was a powerful idea guiding the choice of these patterns. Religious or other symbolic reasons cannot be ruled out.


Q4. How did the people of Marksville dress?


Archaeologists have found only one figurine at Marksville, and it is unknown if it is an image of a real person. Figurines from the same time period found at other sites offer clues about how people looked. Some of these figures show men wearing deer skin breechclouts and perhaps a deer skin shirt. Their hair was worn long and tied in a bun. Women wore knee-length skirts of deer skin or woven cloth. They wore their hair long down their back or tied in several buns. Some figurines show females carrying infants. Archaeologists can only guess that people from Marksville dressed the same way.


Q5. Why were birds the only animals depicted on Marksville pottery?


Archaeologists do not know why people at Marksville chose only to depict birds on their pottery. It is very likely that these birds had some symbolic value.


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