THE 35TH DAY T MINUS ONE TWENTY-THREE: PLATFORM MOUNDS OF THE SOUTHWEST AND SOUTHEAST USA

One, What is a platform mound?

Two, It is monumental edifice that was enlarged systematically in stages over time, typically earthwork, and where a residence or ceremonial enclosure may be found at the top, and furthermore wherein the remains of prominent individuals were likely buried and furthermore with victims of war, likely sacrificial offerings, not uncommon to the runescape of North America. Here we focus on a paper detailing these mounds in the Southeast and Southwest of the USA, and particularly the latter region is of interest in light out prior stated observation of a lack of and different type of mound structure in that region. Overall, we are following the trail of mounds and their history in North America in light of our discoveries in Pennsylvania, one paper at a time or one mound example in series of how do we begin to research these topics, long researched and still of high interest to the general public, in light of the pandemic and general closure of all things relevant to proper academic research, save the internet. We are concerned for the specific composition of mounds in light of our rocky mounds in Pennsylvania and furthermore we are looking for older, possibly Adena, structures built in terraced complex form, possibly in mountainous or hilly areas and furthermore they they are central chamber oriented but not of the classic earthworks like those at the Pinson complex, featured below in map of literature-specific sites, but note one we have visited and observed to be very different from the northeastern PA sites but more classically the Mississippi mound-building culture of Adena, Hopewell, Fort Ancient, et cetera, see below,

Three, Lindauer, O., Blitz, JH. Higher Ground: The Archaeology of North American Platform Mounds. Journal of Archaeological Research, Vol. 5, No. 2, 169-207, 1997

Four, Features of late platform mounds, after A.D. 800, include, “well-defined, special-purpose structure remains on mound summits and premound surfaces…massive clay hearths that were frequently refurbished; partitions or fences enclosing mound summits or bases; mound summits kept free of debris; mound side-middens dumped from the summit; large, isolated post holes; and concentrations of rare or nonlocal raw materials or finished valuables. Some late platform mounds served as mortuaries.”

Five, we find some similarity between our PA mounds in the salience afforded to the mound summit, but we do not find the post holes or any significant lumber borne aspects of the edifice and indeed it is the lithic composition of the likely burial chamber shaft and lower retaining walls that make PA site Glen Onoko so unique from the regular construction of the Mississippi mound-builders and nearly all other aspects aside, these are likely parallel attributes of any mound building culture that puts the most interest in the apex of the pyramidal form and may slough off detritus on the sides and however we consider our dolmen features to be maybe midden or mid-level work-shafts to lighten the load of material needed to be cleared from central excavations, otherwise the platform mounds, as they are called, do not resemble the PA mounds in the slightest and only are remarkable for their difference and nomenclature, in the sense platforms of variable era construction is what is meant by the mounds that are otherwise regular, regular in form albeit built in different time periods, whereas we would perceive a mound structure built all at once but over the space of terraces quite literally platforms in the earth and rock to be more similar to our find, however the literature is absent this classification as yet not to be found at all, we may be wrong and will continue to look. Over and out.