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Historical Background

Survey of Historic Sites and Buildings

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Survey of Historic Sites and Buildings


Location: Adams County, along the banks of St. Catherine's Creek, 3 miles southeast of Natchez.

Ownership and Administration. Privately owned.

Significance. This is probably the most thoroughly documented historic Indian site in the Southeastern United States. Iberville, in 1700, provided the first description of the village, though it is mentioned in many other early 18th-century sources. Following the establishment of nearby Fort Rosalie after the "First Natchez War" of 1714, Le Page du Pratz sketched scenes of Natchez life, the fort, and the village. French maps of 1725 present detailed information about the Fort Rosalie-Grand Village area; several sources, including Du Pratz, describe the Natchez attack on the French in 1729 and the abandonment of the village in 1730. In addition to its historical significance, the site is extremely important archeologically. Its positive identification has provided a base for inferences concerning prehistoric sites of the Mississippian archeological period.

In the flat bottom land on the west side of St. Catherine's Creek are three mounds. Mound A, almost entirely destroyed by stream erosion, appears to have been a low, truncated pyramid. Mound B is also pyramidal, about 80 feet square at the base and 7 feet high. Excavations of Mound C, a platform mound with burials in the floor of the temple atop it, have yielded extremely significant Indian and European material. The village area, about 5 acres in extent, across the creek from the mounds, has been excavated on a preliminary basis.

Present Appearance. Although the site is within the city limits of Natchez and in an area that has been zoned for commercial use, no development has yet occurred in the vicinity. The site is situated in cutover timberland and covered with brush and second-growth trees. Portions of the village site east of the creek have been badly eroded, but other parts, as well as the village area around the mounds, are well preserved under a covering of alluvium. [37]

NHL Designation: 07/19/64

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Last Updated: 22-Mar-2005