Creating more “face-time” opportunities with patrons, Etowah Indian Mounds State Historic Site’s staff will present Museum Tour events Thursday and Jan. 22. The guided tours will be offered both days from 2 to 2:30 p.m.
“We’re hoping to go in depth about some of the artifacts that are in our displays, talk about their origins and hopefully some of the purposes that the natives in this area would have used them for,” said Lee Scarbrough, naturalist at Etowah Indian Mounds. “I think we’re just hoping to educate the public about the history in this area that people tend to walk on top of every day not realizing just how far back some of the history in Georgia goes.”
Etowah Indian Mound’s museum features a wide array of artifacts, such as tools, weapons and pottery. For Scarbrough, two of the most fascinating items featured in the venue are two hand-carved effigies.
“They’re about 125 pounds apiece,” he said. “[They are] made out of solid marble, carved in the shape of a man and a woman.
“I think they’re probably one of the more interesting things in the museum, because these are objects that were carved by hand before iron implements we here in the Americas. So they would have been carved using things, like other stones or deer antlers.”
Discovered by Dr. Lewis Larson, the effigies were found in the site’s burial mound in the 1950s, Scarbrough said.
“They were found broken, but then we have reassembled them into what they would have looked like in their pristine condition,” he said. “… There’s a lot of debate about exactly who they represent, what they represent.
“It’s one of those mysteries of archeology that we won’t ever truly know. The National Geographic has an opinion on it. The Smithsonian has an opinion on it. Dr. Larson has an opinion on it. So there’s lots of conflicting and different opinions on exactly who and what these represent.”
Located at 813 Indian Mounds Road in Cartersville, the 54-acre venue is where several thousand American Indians lived from A.D. 1000 to A.D. 1550. Regarded as the most intact Mississippian Culture site in the Southeast, the Etowah Indian Mounds features a museum, six earthen mounds, a village area, a plaza, borrow pits and defensive ditch.
“The main thing we’re trying to do is give people more face time, interaction with park staff, so they can ask questions," said Keith Bailey, curator for the Etowah Indian Mounds. "... We just hope that that interaction gives people a little more time to appreciate the site out here.”
For more information on the Etowah Indian Mounds, visit https://gastateparks.org/EtowahIndianMounds or call 770-387-3747. Regular admission rates — $6 for adults, $5 for individuals 62 and older, $4 for youth 6 to 17 and $2 for children younger than 6 — apply for the upcoming Museum Tour events.