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Nanih Waiya, Noxapater

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#506 of 511 in Things to do in Mississippi
Landmark · Hidden Gem · Tourist Spot
Nanih Waiya is an ancient earthwork mound in southern Winston County, Mississippi, constructed by indigenous people during the Middle Woodland period, about 1-300 CE. Since the 17th century, the Choctaw have venerated Nanih Waiya as their sacred origin location in their traditional beliefs.The mound of Nanih Waiya is about 25ft tall, 140ft wide, and 220ft long. Evidence suggests it was originally a larger platform mound, which has eroded into the present shape. At one time, it was bounded on three sides by a circular earthwork enclosure about ten feet tall, which encompassed one square mile. In 2006, the Mississippi Legislature's State Bill 2803 officially returned control of the site to the Luke Family, and T. W. Luke deeded it to the State on the condition that it be maintained as a park.In 2008, the Luke family deeded control to the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians, a Federally recognized tribe. Nanih Waiya has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places.Archaeological evidenceThe earliest archaeological evidence of occupation at Nanih Waiya is dated to about 300–600 CE during the Middle Woodland, when it was probably built. This makes Nanih Waiya contemporaneous with the Hopewell culture, as well as ancient sites such as the Pinson Mounds in Tennessee and Igomar Mound in Mississippi. The dating was based on surface artifacts, as no archeological excavation of the mound has ever been undertaken. Its occupation apparently continued at least to 700 CE, in the Late Woodland period.
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  • Please be aware that the mound by the side of the road with the historical marker is not Nanih Waiya. Consider it a "tribute" mound. The tribes who originated in this area hold the actual mound very.....  more »

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