Taylor Mound (Mississippi)

Another Ancient Mound Saved! The Conservancy obtains an easement to protect the ancient Taylor mound in northwest Mississippi.

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Small Mississippian-style arrow points have been found around Taylor Mound. Credit: The Archaeological Conservancy.
Small Mississippian-style arrow points have been found around Taylor Mound. Credit: The Archaeological Conservancy.

Taylor Mound is largely a mystery. It hasn’t been professionally excavated, so all that’s known about it is that it stands approximately ten-feet tall and it’s surrounded by a midden that stretches for an acre. Mississippian-style pottery and arrow points have been found around it, so it’s assumed the mound was built sometime during the Mississippian period, which extended from roughly A.D. 800-1600.

Taylor’s location was ideal for supporting a large number of people. The mound is situated on an old Mississippi River channel that was abandoned by the river when it changed course hundreds of years ago, leaving in its place a slower moving stream that eventually became what is known as an oxbow lake. Here fish, amphibians, birds, mussels, and deer were found, providing food for Taylor’s inhabitants. The fertile soils created by periodic flooding of the local rivers were also ideal for cultivating maize, a staple of the Mississippian’s diet.

The landowners have chosen to donate an archaeological easement that will allow the Conservancy to protect the mound and the surrounding acre of land. Taylor Mound has not yet begun to reveal its information about the lives of its inhabitants or their roles in the surrounding prehistoric landscape. Thanks to the foresight of the landowners, researchers may some day solve the mystery of Taylor Mound.

Summary. Read More in our SPRING 2017 Issue of American Archaeology. Browse the article summaries in our last issue WINTER 16-17 Issue.

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