Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Lake Seminole History, Part Two


This photograph was taken looking west across the Apalachicola River to the Jackson County shore from the top of the large Native American platform mound at Chattahoochee Landing.
Known locally as the "Indian Mound," this mound has been reduced in height and size due to erosion but still is quite impressive.
Originally there were at least seven mounds at Chattahoochee Landing, with an eighth across the river on the Jackson County side. The large mound is the only one that remains fairly intact. A few traces of the others can still be seen at Chattahoochee Landing, but the mound on the Jackson County side was washed away by the river during the 1970s and 1980s.
During the Fort Walton Period (A.D. 900-1540), these mounds were part of an important ceremonial complex. Although archaeology at Chattahoochee Landing has been minimal, salvage excavations were conducted on the Jackson County shore as the site there was being washed away. They revealed the presence of a large village along the riverbank, in addition to the burial mound there. It is assumed that the landing site across the river was a ceremonial complex for the people of the village.
One of the more interesting finds was a human skull that revealed evidence the person had received brain surgery hundreds of years ago. A square hole had been cut in the skull, but had started to grow back, an obvious indication that the person had survived the surgery.
Our generation sometimes under estimates the knowledge of ancient peoples such as those who lived here along the Apalachicola River. Their mental capacity, however, was the same as the present generation and their knowledge of many things was probably superior to our own, especially regarding nature, wildlife, etc.
Our series will continue.

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