Arkansas Historic Preservation Program
Boone's Mounds
Boone's Mounds

BOONE'S MOUNDS, RESTRICTED, CALHOUN COUNTY

ELABORATION

The Boone’s Mounds site is one of the largest ceremonial centers in the Ouachita River region in Arkansas and includes the largest mound in the Ouachita Valley.  The site was in use over approximately ten centuries by successive cultural groups.  The earliest known use was by people of the Coles Creek culture, dated at other sites as being well established by 600 A.D.  The latest occupation may have been by the historic Koroa tribe (ca. 1700).  No sites have been identified for this group but they are 1isted by John R. Swanton (Indian Tribes of the Lower Mississippi Val1ey and Adjacent Coast of the Gulf of Mexico, Bureau of American Ethnology, Bulletin 43, 1911) as living on the lower Ouachita River.  Clarence B. Moore, of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia, visited the site in 1909.  He put “many trial holes" into Mound 1, but found no evidence of burials, the principal focus of his investigations.  The landowner prevented him from excavating in the five other mounds he identified, because they were used as high ground for cattle in times of flood.  He did not test the areas around the mounds because of alluviation and heavy leaf cover.  Local people have dug, particularly in the mounds, for many years and these collections have been examined.  In addition, the staff of the Arkansas Archeological Survey visits the site periodically to repair the damage done by pothunters, and to make surface collections and observations.  From this evidence, it is obvious that the site provides a unique record of the development of ceremonial life over an unusually long time span.  The range of components seen in the collections suggests that controlled excavations would clarify the sequence of cultural relationships in the Ouachita River Valley and show the influence of the cultures of the Lower Mississippi Valley and the Red River region on cultures on the Ouachita River.  The presence of house floors and hearths in the mounds should also make possible more accurate dating of the various cultures, further strengthening information on cultural relationships.  Accurate data are not presently available for dealing with these problems.  Because the site is protected by the landowner (at least in spirit), it will be available for possible research at any time in the future.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Moore, Clarence B.  1909 “Antiquities of the Ouachita Valley."  Journal of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia.  Second Series, Volume 23, Philadelphia.  pp. 90-91.