Read the Beforeitsnews.com story here. Advertise at Before It's News here.
Profile image
By Alton Parrish (Reporter)
Contributor profile | More stories
Story Views
Now:
Last hour:
Last 24 hours:
Total:

Greatest Feat Of Ancient Construction In America

% of readers think this story is Fact. Add your two cents.


 

 

 

Nominated early this year for recognition on the UNESCO World Heritage List, which includes such famous cultural sites as the Taj Mahal, Machu Picchu and Stonehenge, the earthen works at Poverty Point, La., have been described as one of the world’s greatest feats of construction by an archaic civilization of hunters and gatherers.

 
Arial view of Poverty Point
Credit: Wikipedia

Now, new research in the current issue of the journal Geoarchaeology, offers compelling evidence that one of the massive earthen mounds at Poverty Point was constructed in less than 90 days, and perhaps as quickly as 30 days — an incredible accomplishment for what was thought to be a loosely organized society consisting of small, widely scattered bands of foragers.

T.R. Kidder

Kidder“What’s extraordinary about these findings is that it provides some of the first evidence that early American hunter-gatherers were not as simplistic as we’ve tended to imagine,” says study co-author T.R. Kidder, PhD, professor and chair of anthropology in Arts & Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis. 

“Our findings go against what has long been considered the academic consensus on hunter-gather societies — that they lack the political organization necessary to bring together so many people to complete a labor-intensive project in such a short period.”

Co-authored by Anthony Ortmann, PhD, assistant professor of geosciences at Murray State University in Kentucky, the study offers a detailed analysis of how the massive mound was constructed some 3,200 years ago along a Mississippi River bayou in northeastern Louisiana.

Based on more than a decade of excavations, core samplings and sophisticated sedimentary analysis, the study’s key assertion is that Mound A at Poverty Point had to have been built in a very short period because an exhaustive examination reveals no signs of rainfall or erosion during its construction.

WUSTL PHOTO

Study co-authors Anthony Ortmann (standing) and T.R. Kidder (center) evaluate the Mound A excavations at Poverty Point. Katherine Adeslberger (then a Washington University graduate student, now professor at Knox College (seated left) and Rachel Bielitz (then a Washington University undergraduate student) look on.

“We’re talking about an area of northern Louisiana that now tends to receive a great deal of rainfall,” Kidder says. “Even in a very dry year, it would seem very unlikely that this location could go more than 90 days without experiencing some significant level of rainfall. Yet, the soil in these mounds shows no sign of erosion taking place during the construction period. There is no evidence from the region of an epic drought at this time, either.”

CREATIVE COMMONs

 
Part of a much larger complex of earthen works at Poverty Point, Mound A is believed to be the final and crowning addition to the sprawling 700-acre site, which includes five smaller mounds and a series of six concentric C-shaped embankments that rise in parallel formation surrounding a small flat plaza along the river. At the time of construction, Poverty Point was the largest earthworks in North America.

Built on the western edge of the complex, Mound A covers about 538,000 square feet [roughly 50,000 square meters] at its base and rises 72 feet above the river. Its construction required an estimated 238,500 cubic meters — about eight million bushel baskets — of soil to be brought in from various locations near the site. Kidder figures it would take a modern, 10-wheel dump truck about 31,217 loads to move that much dirt today.

“The Poverty Point mounds were built by people who had no access to domesticated draft animals, no wheelbarrows, no sophisticated tools for moving earth,” Kidder explains. “It’s likely that these mounds were built using a simple ‘bucket brigade’ system, with thousands of people passing soil along from one to another using some form of crude container, such as a woven basket, a hide sack or a wooden platter.”

Kidder analyzes the varied colors and layers of the soils of Mound A, which are a result of the building process. Indians carried basket-loads of dirt weighing roughly 55 pounds and piled them up carefully to form the mound. 

To complete such a task within 90 days, the study estimates it would require the full attention of some 3,000 laborers. Assuming that each worker may have been accompanied by at least two other family members, say a wife and a child, the community gathered for the build must have included as many as 9,000 people, the study suggests.

“Given that a band of 25-30 people is considered quite large for most hunter-gatherer communities, it’s truly amazing that this ancient society could bring together a group of nearly 10,000 people, find some way to feed them and get this mound built in a matter of months,” Kidder says.

Soil testing indicates that the mound is located on top of land that was once low-lying swamp or marsh land — evidence of ancient tree roots and swamp life still exists in undisturbed soils at the base of the mound. Tests confirm that the site was first cleared for construction by burning and quickly covered with a layer of fine silt soil. A mix of other heavier soils then were brought in and dumped in small adjacent piles, gradually building the mound layer upon layer.

As Kidder notes, previous theories about the construction of most of the world’s ancient earthen mounds have suggested that they were laid down slowly over a period of hundreds of years involving small contributions of material from many different people spanning generations of a society. While this may be the case for other earthen structures at Poverty Point, the evidence from Mound A offers a sharp departure from this accretional theory.

WUSTL PHOTO

A group of school students visits the Washington University excavations of Mound A at Poverty Point. While doing work at the site, researchers collaborate closely with the Louisiana Office of State Parks to conduct educational and outreach efforts that enhance understanding of the rich history and archaeology of America’s Native inhabitants.

Kidder’s home base in St. Louis is just across the Mississippi River from one of America’s best known ancient earthen structures, the Monk Mound at Cahokia, Ill. He notes that the Monk Mound was built many centuries later than the mounds at Poverty Point by a civilization that was much more reliant on agriculture, a far cry from the hunter-gatherer group that built Poverty Point. Even so, Mound A at Poverty Point is much larger than almost any other mound found in North America; only Monk’s Mound at Cahokia is larger.

“We’ve come to realize that the social fabric of these socieites must have been much stronger and more complex that we might previously have given them credit. These results contradict the popular notion that pre-agricultural people were socially, politically, and economically simple and unable to organize themselves into large groups that could build elaborate architecture or engage in so-called complex social behavior,” Kidder says. “The prevailing model of hunter-gatherers living a life ‘nasty, brutish and short’ is contradicted and our work indicates these people were practicing a sophisticated ritual/religious life that involved building these monumental mounds.”

 
Contacts and sources:
Gary Everding
Washington University in St. Louis
 
More stories: 

UFO Over Nuclear Power Plant, Cosmonauts Discuss Alien Reality, Crescent Shaped UFO In Old NASA Photo 

23 Ancient Mind Blowing Locations 

UFO Disclosure Chinese Style, 10-Million Witness Event, Spiral UFOs Now A Worldwide Phenomena, USAF Takes Notice 

Why Are Japanese Cartoons A Global Hit? 

New Quantum World Order 

Researchers Harness Nature To Produce The Fuel Of The Future 

Satellite Image Shows Eastern U.S. Severe Weather System 

Cool, New Views Of Andromeda Galaxy 

Herschel Finds Star Possibly Making Planets Past Its Prime 

Greatest Feat Of Ancient Construction In America 

Colossal Cosmic Collision Coming This Year At Galactic Center Say Awestruck Astronomers 

Alien Base On The Moon In Detail, Clear UFO Photos Released By NASA Taken By Astronauts, Pilot Films UFO From Air 

Mothership Enters Atmosphere Over Russia At Night; Mass UFO Sightings Over Cotulla, Texas; UFO In Tycho Crater 

Sexual Darwinism: Survival Of The Prettiest, Sexual Selection Can Be Inferred From The Fossil Record 

Ridges On Mars Suggest Ancient Flowing Water 

13 World Mysteries Without Explanation 

Lost Tomb Of Jesus Found 

25,000 Year Old Buildings Found In Russia? The Mysterious Dolmens And Megaliths Of The Caucasus 

Anonymous Hacks USSC. Gov In Operation Last Resort As Response To Death Of Aaron Schwartz 

Be Very Amazed! Struck By Lightning: Man And Earth Show Same Patterns 

Banker Plot To Overthrow The Government, The Day The Army Turned On The Veterans 

 

Colossal Cosmic Collision Coming This Year At Galactic Center Say Awestruck Astronomers 

Alien Base On The Moon In Detail, Clear UFO Photos Released By NASA Taken By Astronauts, Pilot Films UFO From Air   

UFO Disclosure Chinese Style, 10-Million Witness Event, Spiral UFOs Now A Worldwide Phenomena, USAF Takes Notice 

Mothership Enters Atmosphere Over Russia At Night; Mass UFO Sightings Over Cotulla, Texas; UFO In Tycho Crater 

Video First Robot To Play Badminton 

Study: Husbands Who Do More Traditionally Female Housework Have Less Sex 

Study: More Sex For Married Couples With Traditional Divisions Of Housework 

A Tool To Decode Baby Talk 

Sexual Darwinism: Survival Of The Prettiest, Sexual Selection Can Be Inferred From The Fossil Record 

Ridges On Mars Suggest Ancient Flowing Water 

Alien Photographed Accidentally In Texas, New Crop Circles Astound Australians, Green UFOs On ISS Live Cam, Huge UFO Punching Through Earth’s Clouds And Atmosphere Seen From ISS 

The Greatest Modern Oracle, A Living Prophet With Uncannily Accurate Predictions Over 50 Years 

13 World Mysteries Without Explanation 

Lost Tomb Of Jesus Found 

25,000 Year Old Buildings Found In Russia? The Mysterious Dolmens And Megaliths Of The Caucasus 

Baffling Pulsar Leaves Astronomers In The Dark 

Supergiant Star To Explode Near Earth! Betelgeuse To Go Supernova When It Collides With Colossal Dust Wall Say Astronomers 

Tiny Alien Body Confirmed With CT Scans And X-Rays Says Dr. Steven Greer, Presidential Briefing Documents   

Where Is The Sandy Hook Surveillance Video? Citizens Petition White House For Video Release 

“Flying Saucer” Crash Crushes Car 

300 Million Year Old Machinery Found In Russia, Experts Say Aluminum Gear Not The Result Of Natural Forces, May Be Extraterrestrial 

Giant Pyramid And Globe UFOs Seen Worldwide 

 



Before It’s News® is a community of individuals who report on what’s going on around them, from all around the world.

Anyone can join.
Anyone can contribute.
Anyone can become informed about their world.

"United We Stand" Click Here To Create Your Personal Citizen Journalist Account Today, Be Sure To Invite Your Friends.

Please Help Support BeforeitsNews by trying our Natural Health Products below!


Order by Phone at 888-809-8385 or online at https://mitocopper.com M - F 9am to 5pm EST

Order by Phone at 888-388-7003 or online at https://www.herbanomic.com M - F 9am to 5pm EST

Order by Phone at 888-388-7003 or online at https://www.herbanomics.com M - F 9am to 5pm EST


Humic & Fulvic Trace Minerals Complex - Nature's most important supplement! Vivid Dreams again!

HNEX HydroNano EXtracellular Water - Improve immune system health and reduce inflammation

Ultimate Clinical Potency Curcumin - Natural pain relief, reduce inflammation and so much more.

MitoCopper - Bioavailable Copper destroys pathogens and gives you more energy. (See Blood Video)
Oxy Powder - Natural Colon Cleanser!  Cleans out toxic buildup with oxygen! 
Nascent Iodine - Promotes detoxification, mental focus and thyroid health.
Smart Meter Cover -  Reduces Smart Meter radiation by 96%!  (See Video)

Immusist Beverage Concentrate - Proprietary blend, formulated to reduce inflammation while hydrating and oxygenating the cells.

Report abuse
Loading...

    Comments

    Your Comments
    Question   Razz  Sad   Evil  Exclaim  Smile  Redface  Biggrin  Surprised  Eek   Confused   Cool  LOL   Mad   Twisted  Rolleyes   Wink  Idea  Arrow  Neutral  Cry   Mr. Green

    Total 1 comment
    • Towelie

      Didn’t see an estimated age listed, but I would consider the idea that these people probably came from the Mezo-Amerian world. The stated building techniques sound more like the cultures from that area. Depending upon the estimated date of construction, these could very well have been refugees of some kind, escaping the downfall of one of the Mezo-American cultures/societies that were so prominent at various times. Would really like to hear the estimated construction date. :roll:

    MOST RECENT
    Load more ...

    SignUp

    Login

    Newsletter

    Email this story
    Email this story

    If you really want to ban this commenter, please write down the reason:

    If you really want to disable all recommended stories, click on OK button. After that, you will be redirect to your options page.