Mound Builders: Winterville Mounds

An ancient and unknown people left remains of settled life, and of a certain degree of civilization, in the valleys of the Mississippi and its tributaries. These people were mound builders, and created complex urban structures that required mastery of mathematics, engineering and astronomy. Here we look at the Winterville Mounds, named for the nearby town of Winterville, Mississippi.
— Orly

Winterville Mounds, named for the nearby town of Winterville, Mississippi, is the site of a prehistoric ceremonial center under the jurisdiction of the National Parks Service.

This site is thought to date from 1000 CE to 1450 CE, and the reconstructions shown here clearly delineate a pyramid construction with periphery buildings.  It is conjectured that these building served a ceremonial purpose.

Winterville, Artist Reconstruction

The Winterville ceremonial center originally contained at least twenty-three platform mounds surrounding several large, filled and smoothed plazas.  Some of the mounds located outside current park boundaries were leveled by farming and highway construction before the site became protected as Winterville State Park.  Twelve of the site's largest mounds, including the 55 feet (17 m) high Temple Mound, are the focus in the early 21st century of a long-range preservation plan being developed by the Mississippi Department of Archives and History and the University of Mississippi's Center for Archaeological Research.

Aerial View
Drawing, Winterville Mounds

The Winteville Mounds are thought to have been connected by causeways, a feature not normally seen but which may be related to the need access the buildings in times of flooding.

National Parks Service archive:


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