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[photo] The Winterville site group of mounds has been designated a National Historic Landmark
Courtesy of the Lower Mississippi Delta Region, National Park Service

The Winterville site complex consists of flat-topped, rectangular ceremonial mounds of various sizes. The mounds are arranged around a 43-acre plaza, at the center of which is the 55-foot-high Mound A, the largest at the site. There are no extensive village remains, indicating that the site was occupied mainly during ceremonies. It is likely that only members of the social elite, such as chiefs, priests, and their retainers, were permanent residents of the site. Of the 23 mounds originally present, four were destroyed and several others reduced to remnants by agriculture and excessive grazing prior to the site's acquisition as a state park. Nevertheless, this mound group remains one of the largest and best-preserved in the southeastern United States. In recognition of its outstanding significance, the Winterville site has been designated a National Historic Landmark.

Most of the mounds at the Winterville site were constructed during the Mississippian period, between 1200 and 1250 A.D. This intensive time of mound building reflects contact between local Indians of the Coles Creek culture and influences emanating from the great Cahokia site in Illinois, the largest mound center in the United States. Archeological excavations were conducted at Winterville in 1967-1968. The finds included structural remains, burials, and many ceramic and stone artifacts. From this evidence, the history of the site was reconstructed. The Winterville museum exhibits a large collection of archeological artifacts, including decorated pottery vessels, stone tools, and ornaments from Winterville and other regional sites.

Winterville Site is located on State Hwy 1, about six miles north of Greenville, Mississippi. The museum is open Monday-Saturday 9:00am to 5:00pm; Sunday 1:30pm to 5:00pm. The mounds are open every day, dawn to dusk. Call 662-334-4684 or email the mounds directly for further information.

 
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