The Etowah Mounds

Jeannette Holland Austin
2 min readAug 8, 2022
Etowah figures

The archaeological site of the Etowah Mounds is one of the largest of its kind discovered in North America thus far. I say “ thus far” because of the western discoveries in Illinois near Mississippi River that has revealed extensive mounds.

The Etowah Mounds comprise a 54-acre site south of Cartersville, Georgia, in Bartow County. The projection is that the site was constructed in two phases, one in ca 1000 A. D. and another ca 1500 A. D.

Indian mounds have been regarded as “ burial sites” however, excavations into the mounds reveal tall buildings and temples.

This does not surprise me, because when I visited several Mayan sites, I learned that the buildings were filled with huge rocks when cities were abandoned. The intention was that the conquering warriors would not be able to make use of its structures.

It appears that the main town fortress of the Etowah site was elevated, looking down upon the village.

The Etowah Mounds are measured to be more than 300 square feet at the base and rise to a height of slightly more than 60 feet. The site includes 54 acres on the Etowah River and is located about three miles south of Cartersville.

The most noticeable aspects of it are three largely visible earthen mounds, although there are more. The temple mound is more than 300 square feet at the base and rises to a height of slightly more than 60 feet. The Etowah mounds are situated along the sides of two rectangular plazas.

The mounds are shaped in the form of four-sided, flat-topped pyramids and appear to have originally served as platforms. The platform is common to other sites, also, suggesting an area of public affairs. The public buildings have rotted away, year for more than 100 years, artifacts were unearthed here.

A number of archaeologists date this settlement back 300 years. The question arises, when the various Indian tribes were driven west, were the Americans aware of such expansive villages along the Mississippi River?

Genealogists and historians have a number of maps that locate Indian villages, but do we realize how much culture was lost?

Jeannette Holland Austin

Author of 100+ genealogy books. Owner of 8 genealogy websites available by subscription.