The other day, Laura and I took a day trip to Pinson Mounds State Park in southwest Tennessee. The park was created to preserve and showcase mounds built by Native American Indians from long, long ago. They have theories as to why these mounds were built, but no one really knows for certain. They could be set up for rituals such as marking the solstices, because some of the mounds line up with the sun’s location on those days. And they are certain that some of the mounds were burial mounds because of the graves found underneath them. But many of the mounds have been preserved as they are. And they are certainly interesting to see.
The largest of these mounds is known as Saul’s Mound, pictured above. It is named for the person who owned the land before the park was set up. It is 73 feet high, and there are stairs leading up to an observation deck at the top of the mound. It is thought to have been built sometime between 1 AD and 500 AD.
Saul’s Mound is quite an impressive sight, rising up from the relatively flat ground around it. From the picture, it is hard to get a good feel of its size, but it really is big. And it is hard to imagine the people building it long before the days of our modern tools and machinery.
Pinson Mounds is only about an hour from our house, but we rarely go there. I first learned of it back when I was in high school and our church youth group had a retreat at their group camp. On that trip, we walked over to the museum and climbed the stairs of Saul’s Mound. Laura, Jaylin, and I went there a few years ago. And then we went this week.
On both of those recent trips, we have wondered why we haven’t been there before. We like history, we like being outside, and we like exploring things. And this place has it all. We still haven’t seen the boardwalk and nature trail, too. When we were there a few years ago, it was closed because it was winter, and they close those areas because the nearby river gets high. And this week, they were closed due to several trees being down from the storms of the previous week.
So we have a good reason to go again. Maybe it won’t be another five years or longer.