Encyclopedia of Geoarchaeology

2017 Edition
| Editors: Allan S. Gilbert

Poverty Point Site, Louisiana

  • Anthony L. OrtmannEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4020-4409-0_184

Location and description

Poverty Point is a prehistoric community in northeastern Louisiana that was occupied during the Late Archaic period (ca. 3700–3100 BP). The cultural landscape of the site includes five earthen mounds and six concentric, arc-shaped earthen ridges that surround a large, level plaza. The entire Poverty Point earthwork complex covers an area of over 1 km2.

Geoarchaeology at Poverty Point

Systematic archaeological research at Poverty Point began as early as the middle of the twentieth century, and over the past decade, archaeological investigations at the site have increasingly incorporated geoarchaeological techniques.

Mound A

Excavations in Mound A, the largest mound at the site, were designed to test how the earthwork was constructed, when it was built, and how quickly it was erected (Ortmann and Kidder, 2013). Mound A rises to a height of over 21 m with basal dimensions of approximately 200 m on each side and a volume of nearly 238,000 m3of earth. Mound...

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Bibliography

  1. Dalan, R. A., Beard, J., Blaha, A., and Cota, A., 2010. Magnetic susceptibility studies at the poverty point state historic site. Report submitted to the State of Louisiana, Office of Cultural Development, Division of Archaeology, Baton Rouge, Louisiana.Google Scholar
  2. Greenlee, D. M., 2009. 2009 annual report of the station archaeology program at the poverty point state historic site. Report submitted to the Division of Archaeology, Louisiana Department of Culture, Recreation, and Tourism, Baton Rouge, Louisiana.Google Scholar
  3. Hargrave, M. L., and Clay, R. B., 2014. Geophysical investigations at the poverty point site (16WC5), 2006–2011. Report submitted to the State of Louisiana, Office of Cultural Development, Division of Archaeology, Baton Rouge, Louisiana.Google Scholar
  4. Ortmann, A. L., and Kidder, T. R., 2013. Building Mound A at Poverty Point, Louisiana: monumental public architecture, ritual practice, and implications for hunter-gatherer complexity. Geoarchaeology, 28(1), 66–86.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of GeosciencesMurray State UniversityMurrayUSA