Thursday, April 11, 2013

Old Stone Fort State Archaeological Park

It was a beautiful sunny 83 degree day yesterday but storms were forecast for today. The day started quite nicely, overcast but with a high around 72, so we headed off to Old Stone Fort to check on the wildflowers and the waterfalls. Old Stone Fort is located on the edge of Manchester, TN, so it's practically in the backyard and we visit often. I've never camped there but drove through the campground the first winter I was here. It's very wooded with mature trees and undergrowth.

From the TN State Parks website:

"The Old Stone Fort is a 2000 year-old American Indian ceremonial site. It consists of mounds and walls that combine with cliffs and rivers to form an enclosure measuring 1-1/4 miles around. The 50-acre hilltop enclosure mound site is believed to have served as a central ceremonial gathering place for some 500 years. It has been identified as, perhaps, the most spectacularly sited sacred area of its period in the United States and the largest and most complex hilltop enclosure in the south. Settlers tended to name such enclosures “forts.”
The spectacular setting occurs where two rivers drop off the plateau of the Highland Rim in Middle Tennessee and plunge to the level of the Central Basin of Tennessee. As the forks of the Duck River cut down from the plateau level they isolate a promontory between them before they join. This promontory was further set apart by the construction of long, wall-like mounds during the Woodland prehistoric period.
At the narrow neck of land between the two rivers there is a set of parallel mound walls oriented to within one degree of the summer solstice sunrise. It was typical of ancient societies to recognize this significant farthest north sunrise and to hold reenactments of creation myths at such times. Mound sites such as the 50-acre Old Stone Fort provided modified landscapes for ceremonies that may have represented in some way the culture’s concept of their place in the cosmos and a separation of the sacred and mundane or pure and impure."

There was not a huge variety of flowers blooming yet, but I managed to find a few.

And of course a shot of Fran doing what she does.

1 comment:

  1. We just went over there this past weekend and camped. We hiked around the Indian Ceremonial site and took our bikes to the old golf course and rode. We had never been there before and enjoyed it. Camped in our 1962 Shasta.