|Thomas Hales Eubanks was state archaeologist,
director of the Louisiana Division of Archaeology, and chair of
the Ancient Mounds Advisory Commission. From the mid-1990s until
his death in 2006, Dr. Eubanks led the state’s efforts to
form a public/private partnership to identify, map, study, interpret,
and preserve ancient Indian mound and earthwork sites in northeast
and central Louisiana. This guide is dedicated to his memory.
The Ancient Mounds Heritage Area and Trails Initiative was the inspiration
of Louisiana Senator Francis Thompson, from Delhi, who wanted the
world to know that our state has ancient monuments as wondrous and
remarkable as Stonehenge. In 1997, HCR 147 established the Ancient
Mounds Heritage Area and Trails Advisory Commission to develop the
ancient mounds heritage area and trail as a cultural, recreational,
and educational attraction to enhance the development of tourism
in the state. Through Sen. Thompson’s vision, the Ancient
Mounds Trail was initiated.
Establishing the Mounds Trail required years of archaeological fieldwork.
Northeast Regional Archaeologist Joe Saunders, based at the University
of Louisiana—Monroe, led this effort. With the assistance
of Reca Jones, Thurman Allen, John Norris, M.D., Susan Hollis, John
Hogg, Norm Davis, and others, Dr. Saunders recorded, cored, dated,
mapped, and described the sites now on the Mounds Trail. His research
provided content for the markers, and he wrote the text for the
trail guide. Reca Bamburg Jones, Regional Archaeology Program assistant
and Mounds Trail liaison, worked tirelessly to contact landowners
whose sites might be eligible for inclusion on the trail.
The trail is possible only because of all of the landowners and
land managers who have protected the mound sites described in this
guide, and who now are sharing them with the public by allowing
them to be included in this trail. Thank you.
Many other individuals worked to make this project a reality. Josetta
LeBoeuf was responsible for the historic markers, for initiating
the trail guide, and for finalizing the site maps in the guide.
Nancy Hawkins oversaw the trail project and production of the trail
guide. Robert Collins, Chip McGimsey, Diana Greenlee, Dennis Jones,
T.R. Kidder, Shirley Lang, Meta Pike, Philip Rivet, and Rachel Watson
provided invaluable expertise. Carlos Perez and GEC, Inc., contributed
location checks and the interim trail map that led travelers to
the markers until the trail guide was completed.
Sunny Meriwether edited the text of the trail guide, and Carl Accardo
designed the guide.
Artist Martin Pate [www.pateart.com] painted the image on the cover,
the view of Poverty Point on page 5, and the Marksville scene on
page 47. The cover artwork is used with permission of the Southeast
Archeological Center, National Park Service, and the Poverty Point
image is courtesy of the Louisiana Office of State Parks. The watermark
drawing of Poverty Point is by Jon L. Gibson.
Partners with the Louisiana Division of Archaeology, Office of Cultural
Development, are the Office of State Parks, which has supported
the project from its inception, the Office of Tourism, and the Louisiana
Department of Transportation and Development, which funded the markers
and trail guide as a FHWA Transportation Enhancement Project.