Mississippi lays claim to some of the densest concentrations of prehistoric archaeological sites of any state, and none of these sites are more striking than the massive earthen mounds that dot the landscape. Constructed from about two thousand to a few hundred years ago, these burial mounds, platform mounds, and others hold mysteries that archaeologists are still unraveling today. The Mississippi Mounds Trail links a number of the best-studied and most accessible mounds in the state. Each of the mounds on the trail can be viewed from public roadways and feature accompanying markers.
Mississippi mound sites mark centers of social and political authority. Every mound has its own chapter to tell in the unfolding story of the human past. Opportunities to discover more about these mounds and their builders disappear daily as erosion, farming, urban development, and looting continue to degrade these sites. Untold numbers of the old monuments have already been lost, and secrets of our nation’s past have vanished with them. The mounds that remain stand as a testament to the vitality, diversity, and creativity of their makers, who developed the complex societies of long ago. It is up to us to protect the mounds that are left so that future generations can continue to experience the wonder of these dramatic memorials of ancient times.