Have you ever felt like you’ve stepped back in time?
We had the opportunity to visit a special place while we were on the road this summer. Visiting State and National Parks that are not only beautiful but full of history is something we love to do. This often leads us off the beaten path, but it’s usually well worth the ride!
This trip took us through the great state of Tennessee! Our destination, Old Stone Fort State Archeological Park!
Old Stone Fort State Archeological Park….
This amazing park is located where the Big Duck and Little Duck Rivers meet, separate and meet again in Manchester Tennessee. The park was established when the State of Tennessee purchased 400 acres from the Chumley estate in 1966. From the moment we drove through the gates we knew the park would be perfect for the night. Lush, green and quiet!!
Our first treat, this old bridge!
definitely a grand entrance! Hmmmm do you think we'll fit? Let's just say Mr. Bird was a wee bit stressed with this one!
We were so excited to explore we quickly parked the van, no time to rest!
Old Stone Fort is a geological structure built by Native Americans during the Middle Woodland period between 80 and 550 AD! Archeologists from the University of Tennessee investigated the site during the 60’s and determined the area to be used for ceremonial purposes. Notice the rivers surrounding the perimeter of the grounds?
Mounds were built to surround the 50 acre area. These mounds or “walls” were believed to be approximately 4-6 feet in height and constructed of roughly stacked rocks with soil and stone used as filler.
As I walked along the atmosphere felt so serene, and peaceful. No need to speak, just enjoy the surroundings. Although the walls have eroded over time you can still see the mounds aligning each side of the path.
There was so much to take in, just think about the passion and energy needed to finish this kind of project! I could only imagine people working, children laughing and playing along these very paths!
We finally reached the enclosure!
It was beautiful! Can you believe it, over 4,000 feet of wall was built to surround this space. Using radiocarbon analysis of charcoal samples taken from the walls, Archeologists have determined the building process covered several hundred years beginning in the 1st century AD and finishing sometime during the 2nd century.
What was this used for?
This was the best part! As the Woodland tribes were closely connected to their land and nature knowing when to plant, hunt and harvest was crucial for survival. This enclosure served as a moving calendar of sorts, tracking the seasons. The accuracy even by today's standards, unbelievable! Burial ceremonies, known as “cry ceremonies” lasting 5 days may also have been held within this enclosure. The tribal chief would chant and cry for 5 days, honoring those who had passed.
We were excited to hear more! Luckily the fort hosts a small museum housing artifacts found in and around the area. Notice the exterior of the museum; it was constructed using similar building techniques found within the mound systems surround the ceremonial enclosure. It’s not difficult to imagine this took several hundred years to complete!
built and lived in around the area. Archeologists now believe the McFarland and the Owl Hollow cultures were the Middle Woodland cultures responsible for building this fort.
Lovely carvings, a turtle shell perhaps?
Ceremonial pipes, such detail
Pelts used to make clothing.
There were so many artifacts to share, it was difficult to choose just a few!
Just outside the museum we found thisbeautiful waterfall, part of the Duck River which passes along and around the enclosure. Fresh water sources from the two rivers abundantly served those who lived and worked in the area.
There was so much to see my friends! Truly a perfect spot for our Wednesday walk! An opportunity to step back in time, a time without televisions or technology. A time to reflect and spend time with nature! I thank my friend @tattoodjay for hosting this wonderful #Wednesdaywalk! This was definitely good for the heart and soul, and as always nature showed up to say hello as we bid farewell to this enchanting place.
There was so much to learn here. I’m sure we’ll return, too much to see in just one visit. I’m so glad you stopped by! I hope you’ll take time to take a walk today, I promise you’ll be glad you did!
And as always blessings to you all!