Ocmulgee National Monument - History
By Sarah Lane
Jan 21, 2005, 15:20

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Ocmulgee National Monument - Georgia

What’s interesting about the Ocmulgee National Monument is that it doesn’t designate or commemorate one particular person or event. It is instead dedicated to the thousands of people who have lived in this region for over twelve thousand years. It is a memorial to mankind marking the continuous record of life in the Southeastern portion of North America.

Pre-9,000 BC the Ice Age hunters arrived in the Southeast, and for the next thousand years inhabitants saw a shrinking mammal population and a much warmer climate. Hunters and gatherers built shell mounds during the next 6,000 years or so marking the Archaic Period.

Perhaps the most prominent group who lived in this region was the Mississippians. Between AD 900 and 1200 in the Mississippi Valley, they branched out over the riverways and into central and eastern United States. They built eight earthen mounds and a ceremonial earthlodge which remains as evidence of their existence.

The Spanish arrived in 1565 and the British in 1670. From simple trading posts, to large towns, and through wars small and large, this area of North America tells quite the tale of human existence.

Today the Monument is two units with two miles of riverine wetlands in between. The Lamar Mounds and Village Unit can only be accessed if you carry a special permit.

Source: National Park Service, Sylvia Flowers

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