|English: A map showing the various Mississippian cultures, including the Caddoan Mississippian culture and the Plaquemine culture, as well as the other cultures influenced by the Mississippians, the Fort Ancient culture and Oneota peoples. Also shows a few important sites such as Cahokia, Moundville, Etowah, Town Creek, Spiro, Kincaid and Angel. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
Indian Mounds were constructed by deliberately heaping soil, rock, or other materials (such as ash, shell, and the remains of burned buildings) onto natural land surfaces. In Arkansas and elsewhere in eastern North America, Native Americans built earthen mounds for ritual or burial purposes or as the location for important structures, but mound-building ceased shortly after European contact due to changes in religious and other cultural practices. Mississippian people in eastern Arkansas were using mounds when Spanish explorers arrived in 1541, and the Caddo in the Red River valley were still using mounds during the winter of 1691–92, when explorers from Mexico visited them. Most of the thousands of mounds built in Arkansas have been destroyed by modern development and vandalism, but several hundred remain. Today, they are recognized as important religious and cultural monuments.
The oldest mound in Arkansas, believed to be 3500 years old, is in the southern part of the state. This mound, only recently recognized, belongs to the Archaic Tradition, a hunting and gathering lifeway that existed across North America for thousands of years. Archaic mounds are uncommon and are known in small numbers in the Lower Mississippi Valley. Read the rest at Indian Mounds - Encyclopedia of Arkansas