Pharr Mounds comprise one of
the largest Middle Woodland ceremonial sites in the southeastern
Courtesy of Natchez Trace Parkway, National Park Service
This site complex consists of eight burial mounds built during
the Middle Woodland period, between 1 and 200 A.D. Ranging in height
from two to 18 feet, the mounds are distributed over an area of
about 85 acres. They comprise one of the largest Middle Woodland
ceremonial sites in the southeastern United States. Four of the
mounds were excavated in 1966 by the National Park Service. The
mounds covered various internal features, including fire pits
and low, clay platforms. Cremated and unburned human remains were
found in and near these features, as were various ceremonial artifacts,
including copper spools and other copper objects, decorated ceramic
vessels, lumps of galena (shiny lead ore), a sheet of mica, and
a greenstone platform pipe. The copper, galena, mica and greenstone
did not originate in Mississippi; they were imported long distances
through extensive trade networks. Such ritually significant nonlocal
items typify the Middle Woodland period.
Pharr Mounds are located on the Natchez Trace Parkway (milepost
286.7), about 23 miles northeast of Tupelo, Mississippi.
Open to the public daily dawn to dusk, free of charge. Call 662-680-4025
for further information.