Adventure Arkansas: Spiro Mounds Archaeological Center

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Hey guys for this week’s Adventure Arkansas, I'm 5NEWS meteorologist Matt Standridge

Our adventure led us on a walk at the Spiro Mounds Archaeological Center to see the mounds and how they interact with the sun.

With the Equinox here, I loaded up the Adventure Subaru and journeyed to Spiro, OK, just as many ancient native Americans used to do, and it all has to do with how the sun aligns with the mounds.  But these mounds aren’t just any mounds...
"These 12 mounds are the architectural remains of this culture that from 700-1500 controlled essentially 2/3rds of the United States," said Peterson.

"They were the most powerful single group ever to exist in the US," said Director Dennis Peterson.

Peterson said the Fall Equinox was important to the Spiro people who used to gather to see the alignment of the mounds and the sun, which they believed to be the most powerful spiritual entity.
"Those alignments that you see at 1000 A.D. are the same alignments we can see today," said Peterson.
"The reason why we do these walks at the Solstice and the Equinox, is that... three of the mounds when seen from the temple, will line up with the solstice or the equinox sunsets," said Peterson.

This Autumnal Equinox walk is similar to equinox walks held across the world, including places like Stonehenge.  Luckily for us, Spiro is right in our backyard! That's why students from Fort Smith joined me on a tour.  And Dennis showed us one of the largest mounds onsite.

Now there are plenty of mounds here at the Spiro mounds but the one behind me is one of the most important.  It’s called the Craig Mound.  A lot of the most important people here in the civilization were buried there about a thousand years ago.

The center is open year-round but The Autumnal walk is extra special.

"It’s one of the few times that you’re going to be able to not just look at an arrowhead, or at a knife, or something, you’re actually going to be at the site of where people were living," said Peterson.
These mounds are an incredible piece of American history.  You’ll want to come out on Friday, September 22nd and see the autumnal walks as the sun lines up with the mound.

Admission costs to the center are 7 dollars for adults and 4 dollars for children and it's open year-round.

Be sure to like my Facebook page and follow me so you can see my latest adventures, until next time this is 5NEWS meteorologist Matt Standridge.

To learn more about the Spiro Mounds Archaeological Center, visit here!

Segment Sponsored By: Adventure Subaru