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Ocmulgee National Monument

Ocmulgee National Monument








Description of Ocmulgee National Monument

Location: 1207 Emery Hgw Macon, GA   Map

Area: 702 acres (2.8 km²)

Inhabited: 17,000 years ago


Ocmulgee National Monument is famous for massive earth works of the Native American near Macon, Georgia state of United States. Ocmulgee National Monument covers a total area of about 702 acres (2.8 km²) with artifacts and buildings construction stretching a history of 17,000 years. It protects structures and artifacts in the form of underground huts dug before millet by Southern Appalachian culture (a regional expression of the Mississippi Civilization). These include a vast sanctuary and several ritual mounds, a burial mound and defensive ditches. They reflect the mastery of elaborate construction and earthmoving techniques, and assume a collective organization of work. Ocmulgee National Monument occupies the eastern shore of the Ocmulgee. The city of Macon (Georgia) was formed around the old Indian village after the construction of Fort Benjamin Hawkins by the US Army (1806).

Different cultures of prehistoric indigenous peoples have populated the Macon Plateau overlooking the cliffs of the Fall Line, which separate the valleys of the Piedmont from the Atlantic Coastal Plain. The official inscription "National Monument" (National Heritage) also applies to the mounds and Lamar Indian village, located 5 km downstream from Macon. The park was built in 1934 by the National Park Service (NPS) for heritage protection and was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1966. In 1997, the NPS registered Traditional Cultural Property.




While the mounds had been studied by some travelers, professional excavation under the evolving techniques of archeology did not begin until the 1930s, under the administration of President Franklin D. Roosevelt during the Great Depression. The Works Progress Administration (WPA) sponsored large-scale archaeological digs at the site between 1933 and 1942. Workers excavated portions of eight mounds, finding an array of significant archeological artifacts that revealed a wide trading network and complex, sophisticated culture. On June 14, 1934, the park was authorized as a National Monument and formally established on December 23, 1936 under the National Park Service. As an historic unit of the Park Service, the National Monument was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on October 15, 1966. It is listed by the National Park Service as a National Monument and is one of 417 park units as of April, 2018.





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