“reminders of the important advances in civilization that swept across the South”
The six burial mounds and associated habitation area at the Bynum site were built during the Middle Woodland period, between 100 B.C. and 100 A.D. The mounds range in height from five to 14 feet. Five of them were excavated by the National Park Service in the late 1940s. The two largest mounds have been restored for public viewing. Mound A, the southernmost of the two restored mounds, contained the remains of a woman placed between two parallel burned oak logs at the mound's base. This individual was buried with an ornamental copper spool at each wrist. Three additional sets of human remains were also found, consisting of the cremated traces of two adults and a child. Mound B, the largest at the site, covered a log-lined crematory pit. An L-shaped row of 29 polished greenstone celts (axe heads) and the cremated and unburned remains of several individuals were located on the ash-covered floor. Other artifacts found in ceremonial context include copper spools, 19 chert projectile points imported from Illinois, and a piece of galena (shiny lead ore). Greenstone, copper, and galena, like the distinctive projectile points, do not originate in Mississippi. These high-prestige goods, like those found at the Pharr Mounds, were imported through long-distance trade networks. The mounds serve as reminders of the important advances in civilization that swept across the South at about the time they were constructed. This was the time when early Native Americans began making fine pottery, demonstrated significant advancements in the manufacture of tools and objects of art and demonstrated growing proficiency in agriculture. Such advances allowed them to develop highly organized societies as they were no longer dependent on roaming with the seasons in search of game animals for survival.
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Just under 30 miles southwest from Tupelo, MS, the ancient Bynum Mound and Village Site is off the Natchez Trace Parkway at milepost 232.4 and it's open to the public for free.
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