Saturday, August 1, 2015

mounds on lake larose

ON THE BANK of Lake LaRose, within sight of one another when not obscured by foliage, are three mounds on property of Mr. Robert Martin of St. Martinville, La.
     The mound nearest the water and in full view from it has been quadrangular, and probably square, but has been greatly washed and worn. We were told that on its summit-plateau, now 24 feet by 48 feet in extent, forty persons had lived for four months during the great flood of 1912. The plateau, it was said, then was larger than at present, but had worn away under this prolonged and congested occupancy. In height the mound slightly exceeds 11 feet; its diameter of base is about 95 feet each way.
     It was evident the mound had been occupied for a considerable period of aboriginal times, and that graves had been dug into it, probably from the surface, and filled with a black, superficial soil differing in color from the clay of which the mound had been made. Presumably, however, the dark surface soil had been mostly worn away from the mound, as it was present only in graves of which five were encountered. Four of these graves held scattered fragments of bones, probably disturbances, all about one foot from the surface. One burial, 16 inches down, was of the bunched variety, with one skull.
     In view of the reliance placed on this mound as a place of retreat by those living near it, and that the rising water was not far from its base at the time of our visit, we did not feel justified in undertaking more extensive digging into it.
     In a SSW direction from the quadrangular mound is another in the form of a truncated cone, 8 feet in height and about 90 feet in diameter. This mount had dark soil extending more than two feet down in places, but considerable digging failed to discover burials.
     In the dark soil was found a graceful bead of granite, tubular in the main, but expanding slightly at the center; it measures somewhat more than one and one-half inch in length and one-half inch in maximum diameter.
     This mound is promising in appearance, and under different conditions a large central excavation would have been sunk to its base.
     The third mound, an insignificant affair, is composed of tough clay. A very brief investigation was accorded it.
excerpted from:

Some Aboriginal Sites in Louisiana and in Arkansas
by Clarence B. Moore

Journal of the Academy of Natural Sciences