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This is the largest mound at the site. A staircase on the other side enables a walk to the top. The views are good here.
Pinson Mounds State Archaeological Area
Closest available address
460 Ozier Road, Pinson, TN 38366
Park is open 8-sunset. Museum hours vary, generally Mon.-Fri., 8-4:30.
Best time to visit
Pinson Mounds State Archeological Area is a National Historic Landmark and a state park in Tennessee. It preserves outstanding examples of Indian Mounds built in the Middle Woodland period between 1 and 500 A.D. The 1,200 acre park was purchased by the state in 1965.
The Pinson Mounds site includes 17 mounds of various sizes ranging from barely detectable to the 72 foot giant Saul’s Mound (in the picture on the right). Archeologists believe the mounds were built for religious and ceremonial purposes at a time when ancient North American people had transitioned from hunter gatherers to more established communities with rudimentary agriculture and extensive trade networks. The mounds were discovered by land surveyors in the 1820s, but major archeological work did not take place until the 1960s. Pottery and tools recovered from these digs is displayed in the park’s museum.
While the primary mound site covers 400 acres, Saul’s Mound is a short easy walk from the museum. What makes Saul’s Mound so notable is to consider how large it is and the simple hand tools that were used to build it. There is enough dirt in this mound to fill a line of dump trucks 26 miles long! Ozier Mound is the second highest mound at 33 feet. Other mounds and earthworks are less impressive. If time is short, stick with the museum and Saul’s Mound. This park is best suited for those who appreciate archeology and ancient cultures. Otherwise, activities are fairly limited, but include hiking, picnicking and biking. There also are a few cabin rentals. Each September the park hosts Archeofest, an event featuring Indian-themed crafts, shows and music.
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