The Woodland period civilizations that took root in the Mississippi and Tennessee River Valleys flowered in the Mississippian period. Large towns and ceremonial complexes with huge temple mounds were made possible by the refinement of corn agriculture. Because of the establishment of these permanent settlements, places like Russell Cave were used only sporadically as stopovers for hunting and trading parties. The Cherokee Indians of the historic period rarely used the cave.
Last updated: April 14, 2015