Etowah Indian Mounds

Etowah Indian Mound Group

A work of unusual interest occurs on the Etowah River, Georgia. This cut gives us a plan of the work. We notice, first of all, the moat or ditch by which they fortified their position. The ditch is still from five to twenty-five feet deep, and from twenty to seventy-five feet wide. It connects directly with the river at one end, but stops short at the other. It surrounds nearly fifty acres of land. At two points we notice reservoirs, each about an acre in size, and an average depth of not less than twenty feet. At its upper end is an artificial pond. This ditch, with its reservoirs and pond, is no slight work. The large mound seen in the center of the space is one of the largest of the temple mounds. Its shape is sufficiently shown in the cut. The height of the mound is sixty-five feet. We call especial attention to the series of terraces leading up the south side of the mound. Graded ways afford means of access from one terrace to the other. A pathway is also seen on the eastern side.

To this group of works an interest attaches similar to that of the group of works mentioned in Louisiana. We are not certain but that we catch a glimpse of it while it was yet an inhabited Indian town. This is contained in the brief accounts we have of the wanderings of the unfortunate De Soto and his command. One of the chroniclers of this expedition La Vega, describes one of the towns where the weary Spaniards rested, and which we are sure was somewhere in Northern Georgia, in such terms, mentioning the graded way leading to the top, that Prof. Thomas, who has spent some time in this investigation, thinks his description can apply only to the mound under consideration.
Photo of the Etowah Platform Mound
 Whether this conclusion will be allowed to stand, remains to be seen. But, if true, then the darkness which rests upon this aboriginal structure lifts for a moment and we see around it a populous Indian town, able to send five hundred warriors to battle. The Spaniards marched on to sufferings and death, and darkness again closed around the Etowah Mound. When the Europeans next beheld it around it was the silent wilderness; the warriors had departed; the trees of the forest overspread it.
Strange figurine found at the Etowah Mound