Sunday, June 27, 2010

Crystal River Archaeological State Park - Crystal River, Florida

Preserving a group of ancient Indian mounds, the Crystal River Archaeological State Park home to one of the most significant archaeological sites in the United States.

The site was occupied for a span of more than 2,000 years and the first burial mound was built several hundred years before the birth of Christ. Over the centuries that followed, the inhabitants developed their town into a major ceremonial center.

Researchers believe that the mounds and mysterious stone stele or monuments found there were aligned to form a giant astronomical observatory, so that the inhabitants could time the passing of the seasons. Two of the unusual limestone stele can still be seen on the grounds. One of them bears the weathered carving of a human face.

The most stunning aspect of the park, however, is Mound A, a large platform mound overlooking the Crystal River. Wooden stairs lead up the side to the top, where visitors can take in a stunning view of the river and entire archaeological site. Sadly, even though what remains is impressive, only 1/4 or so of the original mound remains. The rest was carried away years ago and used as fill.

To learn more about the park, please visit

1 comment:

  1. Its hard to know whether to get mad or give our predecessors a pass on destroying a shell mound. Thoughts?