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Caddo Mounds State Historic Site, Alto

#134 of 296 in Historic Sites in Texas
Natural History Museum · Historic Site
Caddo Mounds State Historic Site is an archaeological site in Weeping Mary, Texas. This Caddoan Mississippian culture site includes a and is composed of a village and ceremonial center that features two platform mounds and one burial mound. Located on the original El Camino Real de los Tejas trail, the settlement predates European and African exploration arrival to the region. Archaeologists believe the site was founded in approximately 800, with most major construction taking place between 1100 and 1300.
The Caddo Mounds site is located 6mi west of Alto, Texas on Texas State Highway 21 near its intersection with U.S. Route 69 in the Piney Woods region of east Texas. Operated by the Texas Historical Commission, the museum had its grand reopening in October 2015. The new museum offers visitors a chance to explore a replica Caddo village, and all exhibits are hands-on. Visitors can walk the 0.7mi self-guided interpretive trail to see the Caddo’s burial, low temple, and ceremonial mounds. An additional trail along the El Camino Real is also available.
The site began with the founding of a permanent village by the Hasinai, who moved into the region from the Red River area to the northeast, in roughly 850 to 900. The region possessed ideal qualities for the establishment of a village: good soil, abundant food resources, and a permanent water source that flowed into the Neches River. What eventually became the largest mound, Mound A, was begun at this time. It is at the southern edge of the site and was surrounded by about 40 houses. In 1100 a new mound was begun near the center of the site, Mound B, and would eventually measure roughly 175 feet (55 meters) north-south and 115 feet (35 meters) east-west. Mound C, the northernmost mound of the three, was used as a burial mound, not for elite residences or temples like the other two. The site was the southwestern-most ceremonial mound center of all the great mound building cultures of North America.
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Caddo Mounds State Historic Site reviews

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  • I've heard of the Caddo but it was interesting learning of their culture and beliefs and how similar they are to current day Christian faiths. The original visitor center was destroyed by a tornado...  more »
  • This little gem tells the story of the Caddo Indians once located in southeast Texas and were connected to other tribes in Mexico and southern US via trade routes. If you are in this part of the...  more »
  • I'm a history buff. Unfortunately two tornadoes hit the area in March 2019 and they are still in the process of restoring the property. One person lost their life in the parking lot when the tornado hit
  • Texas Native history is extremely important to preserve. After the April tornado the site was decimated, but all those caught in the storm survived. A special thanks to all of the survivors who invited me to come bear witness to their strength and tenacity.

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