WJTV News Channel 12 - MYSTERY MONDAY: Undiscovered Secrets of the Natchez Mounds

"Whole areas were leveled and rearranged landscape-wise by this hand-labor," a researcher said.

MYSTERY MONDAY: Undiscovered Secrets of the Natchez Mounds

Posted: Updated:
Looking at Mississippi, the Natchez people have left their mark but the purpose of the sacred hills is still not fully understood. But study continues at 'The Grand village'. Looking at Mississippi, the Natchez people have left their mark but the purpose of the sacred hills is still not fully understood. But study continues at 'The Grand village'.
Looking at Mississippi, the Natchez people have left their mark but the purpose of the sacred hills is still not fully understood. But study continues at 'The Grand village'. Looking at Mississippi, the Natchez people have left their mark but the purpose of the sacred hills is still not fully understood. But study continues at 'The Grand village'.
"We have three mounds here at the site. Mound 'a' is kind of a mystery mound. It was abandoned by the Natchez and was not in use during the colonial period so the colonial visitors to the site never mentioned it," Barnett said. "We have three mounds here at the site. Mound 'a' is kind of a mystery mound. It was abandoned by the Natchez and was not in use during the colonial period so the colonial visitors to the site never mentioned it," Barnett said.
Some archaeologists describe a construction sequence: a building is used, burned, and the land reused only after being buried to possibly lock-in a sacred power. Some archaeologists describe a construction sequence: a building is used, burned, and the land reused only after being buried to possibly lock-in a sacred power.
"What you see now are actually mounds reformed after workers in the 1930's went ahead with early drastic research projects. Today, it would never be done - so this area could stay preserved," Barnett said. "What you see now are actually mounds reformed after workers in the 1930's went ahead with early drastic research projects. Today, it would never be done - so this area could stay preserved," Barnett said.
Dirt. Earth. Power.

These words could have been interchangeable in certain situations in the lives of native mound-building cultures.

Looking at Mississippi, the Natchez people have left their mark but the purpose of the sacred hills is still not fully understood. But study continues at 'The Grand village'.

Click here to watch a past MYSTERY MONDAY: Ghosts of Stuckey's Bridge Haunt Lauderdale County

Built basket-by-basket, archaeologists theorize the nine foot tall hills rise from flat, sacred ground.

But their existence - going back hundred of years - can never be fully explained, Jim Barnett with the Mississippi Department of Archives and History said.

"I like to say that mound building was a lot like 'the canary in the coal mine' situation where almost a soon a Europeans appeared in the western hemisphere - mound building stopped," Barnett said.

Barnett is based at the Grand Village of the Natchez Indians where other historians have also looked to piece together what happened in mound-building cultures.

"But here at the 'Grand Village' we have eyewitness accounts of funeral events and ceremonial events that were never seen anywhere else and were never seen again after this site was abandoned," Barnett said.

"We have three mounds here at the site. Mound 'a' is kind of a mystery mound. It was abandoned by the Natchez and was not in use during the colonial period so the colonial visitors to the site never mentioned it," Barnett said.

But why were they built?

Some archaeologists describe a construction sequence: a building is used, burned, and the land reused only after being buried to possibly lock-in a sacred power.

In Natchez it's speculated the mounds were created after repeating that process four or five times, Barnett said.

But that's not all.

"Whole areas were leveled and rearranged landscape-wise by this hand-labor," Barnett said.

"Today what we see are piles of earth. They saw something completely different," Barnett said.

"What you see now are actually mounds reformed after workers in the 1930's went ahead with early drastic research projects. Today, it would never be done - so this area could stay preserved," Barnett said.

And it's likely questions will never be fully answered about their creation and why it stopped, Barnett said.

"And it stopped so quickly that it's really hard to believe because, as I said, it was carried on for thousands of years. People were moving dirt. That was a part of their lives. And suddenly it stopped," Barnett said.

If you have an idea for a MYSTERY MONDAY segment on WJTV NEWS CHANNEL 12 email mystery@wjtv.com or contact Jacob Kittilstad at 601-664-8839.

Powered by WorldNow

1820 TV Road
Jackson, MS 39204

Telephone: 601.372.6311
Fax: 804.819.5569
Email: wjtvnews@wjtv.com

Can't find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.