Exploration and Archaeology

Entry Category: Exploration and Archaeology - Starting with T

Toltec Mounds Archeological State Park

Toltec Mounds Archeological State Park near Scott (Pulaski and Lonoke counties) is one of Arkansas’s most significant pre-European archaeological sites. Toltec, site of the state’s tallest Indian mounds, is also a National Historic Landmark. In 1812, Louis Bringier, a French explorer from New Orleans, Louisiana, traveled to present-day Arkansas and became the first European to discover the Toltec mounds. His description of the site’s “tolerably regular” alignment of mounds and the height of the two tallest mounds in contrast to the surrounding alluvial flatlands, the first such description, was reported in newspapers in 1821. William Peay Officer and his wife, Mary Eliza, purchased the area in 1849. There they maintained a residence, which they called Lake Mound Plantation and used …

Toltec Mounds Site

The 100-acre Toltec Mounds site in Lonoke County between Scott (Pulaski and Lonoke Counties) and Keo (Lonoke County) is one of the largest archaeological sites in Arkansas and in the lower Mississippi River Valley. It was designated a National Historic Landmark by the Heritage Conservation and Recreation Service of the United States Department of the Interior in 1978 in recognition of its significance in the history of America. It opened as a state park in 1980. Native Americans occupied the Toltec Mounds site and built the mounds between the years 650 and 1050 AD. Archaeologists use the name Plum Bayou Culture to refer to their way of life. This culture cannot be identified with any of the tribes living in …

Tom’s Brook Culture

People of the Tom’s Brook culture—the name comes from a tributary of the Arkansas River along which artifacts of this culture were first recognized—occupied most of western Arkansas, from the Arkansas River drainage south to the Red River valley, between 6,000 and 7,000 years ago. In terms of the six major “cultural periods” that archaeologists use to describe the prehistory of Arkansas and other southeastern states (Paleoindian, Early Archaic, Middle Archaic, Late Archaic, Woodland, and Mississippian), the Tom’s Brook people lived at the beginning of the Middle Archaic period, which began around 6000 BC and lasted until about 3000 BC. They seem to have been the first people in Arkansas, and possibly the first in the Southeast, to take up …