Discover Central Georgia: Ocmulgee Mounds National Historic Park – 41NBC News

MACON, Ga. (41NBC/WMGT) – Located off the Emery Highway in Macon, Ocmulgee Mounds National Historic Park is like something from another world. With nearly two thousand acres of nature, it’s hard to believe something like this exists in sprawling Macon. Park guide Andrea Martison explained how old the land is.

“Actually, here in the central Macon area, we’ve been settled by people for over twelve thousand years, and so a lot of parks focus on this story or that, but we can talk about all of that, and so we can talk about the Paleo-Native Americans with that.” end of the last ice age. We’re talking about the Mississippi that built the hills here a thousand years ago. We are talking about the current tribes that are still associated with the park today.”

The park was also the site of the largest archaeological dig in US history. From 1933 and until just after World War II, more than 800 men restored some of the park’s historic sites and unearthed 2.5 million artifacts.

Today, the park consists of the visitor center, which houses many of the artifacts that were unearthed, an eight-mile hiking trail, and the remains of several mounds created by the various tribes of the past.

“We have seven hills and then we also have the historic Earth Lodge, which is a must see because you can actually go inside and see the original thousand-year-old clay soil that the Mississippi Indians had for thousands of years used their ceremonies and their councils,” Martinson said

Admission to the park is free except during special events. The biggest event in the park is the Ocmulgee Indigenous Celebration, held every September. The celebration honors the culture and heritage of Southeastern Native Americans and typically features traditional crafts, dance, storytelling and many educational opportunities.

“The fact that it’s still being kept is very, very impressive to them and they’re definitely very excited when they come back, it’s like a homecoming for them that they have some sort of family reunion. ‘ exclaimed Martinson.

New for the park this year was the addition of land, doubling the size of the park. The expansion to 1,600 acres has helped further preserve the land. The park has also been in talks of becoming a national park and wildlife sanctuary, although that process is ongoing. Whatever the park’s status, it continues to play an important role in Macon’s history.

“This is sort of a time capsule of this area where we have had so many cultures over such a long period of time and not just see what they were like back then but to continue those cultural events to this day with the Ocmulgee Indigenous Celebration and these thriving cultures that made it still exists in today’s world,” noted Martinson.

If you want to learn more about the Ocmulgee Mounds you can go here.