Soliciting Archaeo-Roadtrip Advice

If I’m to believe the internet, most of Americans associate the decreasing temperatures and fiery leaves of autumn with one thing — pumpkin spice lattes. I (and hopefully you too!) have something else in mind… SEAC, of course!

The Southeastern Archaeological Conference convenes in Baton Rouge November 7-11, and if past years are any indication, the mix of cutting edge scholarship, provocative theoretical inquiry, and wicked dance moves will not fail to impress.

This year, a group of students from UM have (insanely) opted to drive from Ann Arbor to Louisiana, minimally a distance of 1100 miles. We’ve added a day on either end of the meeting to allow us to visit some archaeological sites along the way. So my question for you is: if you had two days to drive through the mid-south, what sites would you go see? At the moment, we’re considering Poverty Point and Moundville (one on the way there and one on the way back), but that’s not set in stone, and we’re willing to make time to include some more must-see locations.

Any advice would be heartily appreciated!



4 comments on “Soliciting Archaeo-Roadtrip Advice

  1. Meg says:

    Oooh… so many options!

    Some great ones you’ll be going really close to:
    PINSON: just south of Jackson, TN that you will drive right through (I adore this site and you are going soo close)
    CHUCALISSA: Just south of Memphis.
    PARKIN: Just west of Memphis (I like this one better than Chucalissa)

    If are willing to drive a bit slower…. my #1 choice would be to drive down the Natchez Trace. The number of sites along it is staggering (Owl Creek, Pharr, Emerald (must see!!!), Grand Village of the Natchez Indians). Plus, you’d get to see Natchez!!!

    When touring Mississippi, keep in mind that after the MAA meetings a couple years ago, we saw well over 100 mounds in a matter of hours on Ed Jackson and Johh O’Hear led mound tour. Beware. If can be easy to get totally overwhelmed.

    If you need to get off the road closer to home, there are always the sites around Chillicothe (or, as my students say…. Chilly Coffee), but many of you have see those, I am sure!

  2. Scott Jones says:

    I agree with Meg concerning Pinson Mounds. It is amazing site and not nearly as far out of the way as Moundville. Plus, once you’ve seen one Mississippian mound you’ve seen them all! Just kidding! Natchez trace is amazing as well. You will also be going by Big Bone Lick just south of Cincinnati so you could catch up on some Late Pleistocene sites as well.

  3. Alice Wright says:

    Thanks for the advice friends! We ended up visiting Pinson, Shiloh, Poverty Point, and several stops along the Natchez Trace between Tupelo and Natchez. What an experience!

  4. […] a google map of all the visitable mound site in the US.  (This harkens back to Alice’s post Soliciting Archaeo-Roadtrip Advice!) This is something I had already started on my own, but I thought it might be fun to see how much […]

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