Omussee Creek Mound and Mississippian Period Societies

Omussee Creek Mound and Mississippian Period Societies (HM261U)

Location: Columbia, AL 36319 Houston County
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Country: United States of America
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N 31° 16.589', W 85° 7.003'

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—Creek Heritage Trail —

Near where you stand lies Omussee Creek Mound, the southernmost
platform mound along the Chattahoochee River, occupied
approximately 1300 to 1550 A.D. as part of an important
Native American settlement. This region of southeastern Alabama and
southwestern Georgia was once home to one of the densest concentrations
of mound centers in North America, and served as a key population
and cultural center during what is referred to as the Mississippian era
(ca. 1000 to approximately 1600 A.D.). In contrast to the less centrally
organized societies which came before and after it, this era of Native
American prehistory featured large, complex societies arranged into
chiefdoms which practiced intensive agriculture. It receives its name
from the Mississippi River Valley region in which the culture is believed to
have originated.

The Mississippian peoples commonly built mound centers such as Omussee to
serve as regional political capitals. Archaeologists have identified over a dozen
major mound complexes along the lower Chattahoochee that were constructed
during the era, each having once been home to large communities. During the
time of its greatest activity the Omussee Mound is believed to have been the only
such center in use along the southern reaches of the Chattahoochee. Accordingly,
it is presumed

to have held a position of much influence over a wide area.
Mounds such as Omussee are often the only surviving portions of once-thriving
towns that frequently featured palisade walls surrounding a large central plaza.
Scattered family homes and small farms closely associated with the community
would have been located over a wide area outside of the mound center. Elite
members of Mississippian societies usually lived on top of the mounds, with
some mounds serving as places of burial or serving other ceremonial functions.


Right middle map: This map shows the location of some of the largest Native American societies in North America during the occupation of Omussee Creek Mound.
Top right: This painting depicts one of the largest Mississippian communities, the Kincaid Mounds, in modern Illinois. Mississippian mound centers throughout North America had much in common both physically and culturally.
Bottom right map: This map shows the locations of Mississippian mound centers in the lower Chattahoochee River Valley during the height of activity at Omussee. Despite their prevalence in the region, today Omussee is the only Mississippian mound in
the lower Chattahoochee Valley that is publicly accessible on'a regular basis.
From The Chattahoochee Chiefdoms, by John H. Blitz and Karl G. Lorenz
Courtesy of the

University of Alabama Press
HM NumberHM261U
Year Placed2015
Placed ByThe Historic Chattahoochee Commission, the John P. and Dorothy S. Illges Foundation, Inc., the University of Alabama Center for Economic Development
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Thursday, March 15th, 2018 at 4:02pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)16R E 679283 N 3461773
Decimal Degrees31.27648333, -85.11671667
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 31° 16.589', W 85° 7.003'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds31° 16' 35.34" N, 85° 7' 0.18000000000001" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)334
Which side of the road?Marker is on the right when traveling North
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 333 Omussee Creek Rd, Columbia AL 36319, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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