One of the responsibilities of the regional directors is to keep an eye on Conservancy sites in their region. Although we usually have local site stewards who help with this, whenever my travels take me to the area where we have a preserve, I try to visit them and see how they look and make sure everything is ok.
I did this recently when I was in northeast Mississippi for a lunch time program at the Union County Heritage Museum in New Albany, Mississippi. Nearby is a small community called Ingomar and this was also the location of what was once a much older community that we call the Ingomar Mound site. I was happy to see that this large Middle Woodland mound looks great and that is due in large part to our partnership with great coalition of local entities who have helped up maintain the site and erect interpretive signs.
The Conservancy owns approximately 45 acres at the site. The main occupation dates to the middle Woodland period, approximately AD 200. There is also a later historic Chickasaw occupation at the site dating to the early 1800’s, before removal. In the 1890’s Cyrus Thomas reported that there were 14 mounds at the site, as well as an embankment. Unfortunately, farming and land terracing have pretty much leveled most of the mounds, except for Mound 14, which stands approximately 30 feet high.
The most recent research conducted at the Ingomar site was done by Mississippi State University, under the direction of Dr. Janet Rafferty. It was during these excavations that a radiocarbon date of AD 210 was obtained from Mound 14. http://www.jstor.org/stable/40712928?seq=1#page_scan_tab_contents. Artifacts from the Ingomar Mounds excavation by Smithsonian archaeologists in the middle 1880s are on exhibit at Union County Heritage Museum. Some Pieces date back as far as 2,200 years ago. Educational programs on site for students are available annually.
Culturally, Ingomar Mounds is similar to Pinson Mounds, a large state owned mound site in Tennessee. “Pinson Mounds officially became a Tennessee State Park in 1974. To this day, the park contains the largest Native American Middle Woodland Period mound group in the United States.” Visit Pinson Mounds and on site Museum or do an online visit to the Mounds with Tennessee History for Kids.
-Jessica Crawford, Southeast Regional Director
Read about Other Conservancy Protected Mounds in the Southeast: