The Plaza

     Though it may not look like it, people built the site's 43-acre plaza by hand just like the mounds and ridges. People started building the plaza around the same time as the site's ridges, or perhaps only slightly later. Maintaining the plaza required lots of care. People regularly filled low spots and tried to stop gullies (trenches formed from erosion) from spreading before they got too big.


     The plaza's most striking features now lie beneath the surface. Hidden underground are holes filled with earth where hundreds of wooden posts once stood. Some of the holes are over 2 feet wide and their bases are 10 feet below the modern ground level. The number and closeness of the holes suggests that people reset the posts often. The posts were in circles that were up to 213 feet in diameter and may have stood 20 feet tall!

Artist's interpretation of what the plaza may have looked like during the site's occupation.

(Above) The wide-open  plaza offered a great view of the site, which could have made it an ideal meeting place.


(Below) Today, white cylinders in the plaza give visitors to the site an idea of how big some of the post circles were.

Photo of the plaza area of Poverty Point.


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