Conservancy Preserves in the Southeastern Region include:
The area sits on a peninsula formed by the Coosa and Tallapoosa Rivers and has been home to diverse cultures for more than 7,000 years. The region’s first residents were Archaic Indians and Late Woodland and Mississippian Moundbuilders. Later tenants included French colonial soldiers, English and Scottish traders, Andrew Jackson’s army, and modern American settlers. The preserve included a number of archaeological resources, from 7,000 year old campsites to the remnants of 19th century Ft. Jackson Town.
The Old Mobile site contains the intact archaeological remains of the first permanent French colonial settlement and the earliest European town on the Gulf Coast of the United States. Occupied from 1702-1711, Old Mobile was the first French colonial capital of Louisiana. The 120 acre settlement area, as identified through historical and archaeological studies, contained a wooden fort, church, and administrative center. In addition, archaeological investigations have identified the remains of private homes and blacksmith shops within the town of Mobile.
The Conservancy has been acquiring land for the Parkin Archaeological State Park since the mid-1980s. The Parkin site is widely believed to have been the capital of the providence of Casqui, a major chiefdom of the Mississippian culture and occupied from approximately A.D. 1000 to 1600 and visited by Hernado de Soto in 1541. A prehistoric moat encloses an 18-acre village mound.
Bisset Mound Complex, situated on the bank of a tidal river, consists of a rich shell midden, a village area and a Late St. Johns Period/Timucuan burial mound standing 24 feet high with a 370 foot base. The well-preserved site serves as one of the last remaining examples of the Native American culture that flourished in central Florida prior to European contact.
The Cedarscape site, located in Tupelo, Mississippi, contains the remains of the significant Chickasaw village of Tchitchatala. It was occupied until 1734, abandoned, then reoccupied after 1772. There is a gread deal of historical documentation regarding the leaders of the village, and attacks by enemy tribes such as the Creek and the Chocktaw. The modern Chickasaw are supportive of our efforts and are interested in the possibility of building a retreat or cultual center in the Tupelo area.
The DePrato site consists of 5 mounds and an impressive continuum of occupation from the Troyville Culture (A.D. 400 to 700) through the Middle Coles Creek Culture (A.D. 700 to 800). Due to flooding, two and a half feet of alluvium covers the site. Consequently, the five mounds appear smaller than they originally were and the archaeological resources remain virtually untouched by modern activity such as road construction and farming.
The Mott Mounds, located in northeast Louisiana on the west bank of Bayou Macon, represent several different occupational periods including: Late Paleo Indian, Late Archaic, Woodland, and Mississippian. Among the largest mound centers in the Southeast, the site was threatened by looting, land leveling, and timber harvesting. The site contains one of the largest mounds in Louisiana, covering over two acres at its base.
Sharp Site (Tennessee)
The site was discovered during a routine archaeological survey. The search for unmarked graves prior to development plans revealed an entire Mississippian town, including evidence of a palisade. The survey uncovered numerous artifacts, human remains, and dozens of features, including post-holes, middens, and house floors from the Mississippian period. The town should expand current knowledge about life during the Mississippian period in Tennessee.
Stallings Island flourished some 3,700 years ago during the Late Archaic Period (3000-1000 B.C.). The Stallings Island culture produced the oldest documented pottery in North America, the first local shell fishing, and the region’s first settled communities. The repeated use of village sites, coupled with their consumption of large quantities of shellfish, produced the large shell-midden mounds. They produced the earliest forms of elaborately decorated pottery, along with carved bone pins, banner stones, and stemmed projectile points.