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Preserving a Prehistoric City Beneath a Modern Town: The Archaeological Conservancy’s Troyville Preserve

Presented by Jessica Crawford

  • Southeast Regional Director for The Archaeological Conservancy
  • BA in English (University of Mississippi)
  • MA in Anthropology (University of Mississippi)

More about the lecture

From about AD 400 to 700, a great settlement was constructed at the confluence of the Tensas, Black and Ouachita Rivers in Louisiana. Named for a local plantation and settlement that was established in the late 1700’s called Troy, the Troyville site originally consisted of nine mounds, the largest was nearly eighty feet with two “terraces” that were topped with what was described as a “flattened cone or dome.”

The mounds were surrounded by an embankment on three sides and a river on one. As the site was being destroyed by the town of Jonesville, Winslow Walker, with the Smithsonian Institution, conducted hurried salvage excavations that revealed woven cane mattings fixed in place with wood stakes, palmetto fronds, preserved wood planks and logs. Believed by many to have been largely destroyed by the town of Jonesville, Louisiana, in 2003, Louisiana archaeologists took a closer look at what lies beneath the town and found that much of the Troyville site remains intact. Since then, the Conservancy has been working to acquire and preserve what remains of this important site and the type-site for the Troyville Culture.

About the presenter

Jessica Crawford (pictured right) has been The Archaeological Conservancy’s Southeast Regional Director for 15 years and is responsible for managing sites across eight southeastern states. This includes overseeing research projects and site preservation measures, processing and finalizing new acquisitions, and working with state and federal governments to incorporate Conservancy properties into parks and other public lands. She attended the University of Mississippi where she received a BA in English and an MA in Anthropology. She currently resides near Marks, Mississippi.

Free For Everyone

Our virtual lectures are a part of our Outreach and Education efforts. They are free to our Members and the General Public.  Recorded lectures are posted on YouTube and on the event page after the event occurs.

For questions about the event or how to register, please contact Susan Bowdoin ( or Sarah Webber (