Archeologists Prep For Digging At The Spiro Mounds

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Professors from local colleges are really digging Spiro these days.

Archeologist from Oklahoma University and the University of Arkansas at Fort Smith were at the Spiro Mounds, in Spiro Okla.,  conducting remote sensing.

Remote sensing allows archeologist to use machines to determine if artifacts are underneath the ground. Once they know the location, they can begin digging for the pieces.

According to Dennis Peterson, manager at Spiro Mounds Archeological Center, pieces from Spiro, Okla., can be found all over the world.

Peterson said the Spiro Mounds were the first and only historic site in the state that people could attend.

According to Scott Hammerstedt, an archeologist professor at Oklahoma University, major digging has not taken place at the mounds since 1982.

Hammerstedt said some small digging happened in October of 2014, but the first major digging of the site will happen this summer with students form Oklahoma University and the University of Arkansas - Fort Smith.

Students will spend five weeks at the mounds digging for pieces of history. The students will receive five college credits for their work.

Peterson said "We think it's important for the history of Oklahoma, the history of Arkansas, this whole area, knowing who was here before us, how they lived [and] what they did with their lives."

The Spiro Mounds Archeological Center houses the arts and items discovered at the mounds.

Peterson said the center has been open since 1978.


  • atc8824

    I feel this is a violation of Native American burial sites.I understand that history is in these mounds but unearthing possible bodies buried at the mounds is disrespect to the dead.

    • Dennis Peterson

      I understand your concern but no excavations at the Spiro Mounds since the 1930s has excavated burials. We are very careful to treat the site with respect since it is both an important Native American site but primarily since it is a sacred site for both the Wichita and Caddo peoples. The people who created the Spiro Mounds and other regional sites became parts of both of these tribes. Excavations at the site this summer are to test some of the remote sensing data and investigate some possible houses or other structures that are being impacted by erosion so that we can know more about these incredibly important people. This and any future work at the site is to help minimize disturbance as much as possible while still helping us understand this very powerful pre-european group.

    • don

      mr. peterson stated that excavations ”are to test”some remote sensing a full-blooded native american,an if u are just wanting to ”test” some new technology equipment,why not go else if you really want to ”RESPECT” the burial site,,just leave it alone an in dis-respect intended,, but this is just my own personal opinion..

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