The points of interest in the area are numbered on the map (pages 2627) as follows:
1. MUSEUM AND ADMINISTRATION BUILDING. The museum exhibits tell the story of Ocmulgee Old Fields by the use of pictures and models, with a minimum of explanatory text, to supplement the archeological materials themselves. In addition to the administrative offices of the monument, it also houses the enormous collection obtained during the excavations, and a small archeological and ethnological library. The design for the colored frieze around the outer wall of the building's rotunda is copied from the incised decoration on a Lamar Bold Incised pottery vessel.
2. CEREMONIAL EARTHLODGE. Situated some 200 yards southwest of the museum building, this feature is a reconstruction of the winter temple which lay at the northeast edge of the Master Farmer village. It shows the original clay floor and lower parts of the building as they appeared in use about A. D. 1000. Because the building was burned, pieces of the original timbers were preserved on the old floor just as they had fallen from the roof; and for this reason the reconstruction is thought to present a very accurate picture of the original building. Because of the need to protect these irreplaceable remains the earth lodge is kept locked at all times, and is opened only to visitors accompanied by a guide.
3. CORNFIELD MOUND. A short distance northwest of the earthlodge, this mound was probably a center for religious festivals during the summer. It was built in successive stages over the rows of a cultivated field and thereby served to protect this evidence of early agriculture well into modern times. In use the mound served as the base or platform for one or more religious buildings which we might well call summer temples of the Master Farmers.
4. PREHISTORIC TRENCHES. At the north edge of the Cornfield Mound lies a portion of one of the two ditches or concentric series of linked pits which seem to have surrounded the Master Farmer village. Their principal use appears to have been defensive; but they may well have served as borrow pits connected with mound construction.
5. GREAT AND LESSER TEMPLE MOUNDS. The Great Temple Mound was the principal religious structure of the Master Farmers at Ocmulgee. As in the case of the Cornfield Mound, the buildings for which it served as a platform were doubtless used in connection with the major religious festivals of the year, those leading up to and including the great summer harvest ceremony. No clear indication of the appearance of these buildings was preserved here, but we find some evidence of a rectangular framework of small posts set at intervals. These were very likely intertwined with cane, and the whole building plastered with clay and roofed with sod or thatch. Like almost all temple mounds, this one achieved its great size through successive additions to an original structure of rather modest size.
The relation of the Lesser Temple Mound to the Great Temple Mound is not known. Its closeness to the latter suggests either that it was an auxiliary structure; or that the two were built at different periods as the demands of the religious cycle for periodic renewal of the temples and enlargement of their bases caused changes in the original plan of the area. The base of the mound lies at the level of the top of the bank above the parking area. This is the old plateau level, while the present park road at this point occupies the bed of an old railroad cut.
6. TRADING POST. The area around the Trading Post stockade and generally west of it was the site of a Creek village situated here from about 1690 to 1717. The burials are those of Creek Indians interred in the village area; and the ornaments and other articles placed with the body indicate that they had been obtained by trade with the English.
The Trading Post itself was probably an active center of Carolina's trade with the Indians from shortly after 1690 to its destruction incident to the Yamassee War around 1715. The five-sided enclosure with two gates in its broad base side was fenced with a wall of posts possibly 12 to 20 feet in height. The ditch around four of the sides may have been to improve drainage within the compound or to provide additional protection as a sort of moat.
The Trading Path, marked at the north corner of the stockade, ran from Augusta to the Lower Creek towns along the Ocmulgee. English traders from Charleston used this old Indian trail as a highway to the Indian country. Traces of the path were found at intervals during the excavation, leading from the northeast toward the palisaded enclosure and thence toward the river.
7. FUNERAL MOUND. Important civil or religious leaders of the Master Farmer village were buried here. At the base of the mound, log tombs contained the bodies of several persons, possibly wives and retainers of the leader. Like the temple mounds, the original mound covering these graves was built over and enlarged six successive times. More burials were made in each new stage, and the flat top of each supported a building which may have been used in preparing the dead for burial. The present height of the mound approximates that of the third building stage.
OTHER MOUNDS. The Southeast, Dunlap, and McDougal Mounds, like others which are known to have been destroyed in the building of East Macon, lay outside the enclosed area of the Master Farmer village. They were doubtless the platforms for relatively minor religious structures and are not included in the interpretative scheme of the monument.