Photo of Mound C with signs of historic road.

Mound C

     Mound C could either be one of the oldest or one of the newest mounds at the site. Radiocarbon tests used to date the mound only showed that it is from the Poverty Point occupation. The mound is small, oval shaped, and roughly 260 feet long. Mound C now stands six feet above the plaza, with two more feet below the level of the plaza.


     There is good reason to believe that Mound C was special. It was the only mound that people built in the plaza during Poverty Point times. Builders also made it differently than the other mounds. It is the only mound that they made right on the natural surface of the earth. They built all of the other mounds on prepared surfaces.

The depression on the left hand side of the mound is the result of a road that was worn through it in the nineteenth century. Luckily, most of the site's mounds have escaped damage by building, farming, looting or erosion by natural means. These are common problems that threaten many archaeological sites.

     Mound C has 16 thin layers, more than any of the other mounds. Each layer has a distinct color and texture. Soil for the layers likely came from deep in the ground, accessible along Bayou Ma├žon or from gullies around the site. Some layers had fire pits, possible postholes and charcoal on them. Archaeologists think these things mean that people either lived on these layers or held ceremonies there.


     Workers placed a final layer of earth five feet thick on the mound to give it a rounded top. This final layer had many artifacts in it. The fire pits and other things found in the mound are not evident on the mound's surface. This means that people most likely stopped using the mound after they finished the last layer. All of these things suggest that Mound C had some unique role to play at the site.



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