Nacoochee Mound

The Nacoochee Mound site is situated along the banks of the upper Chattahoochee River in the mountains of northeast Georgia. Although the original Late Prehistoric earthen platform mound has been completely excavated, a reconstruction of the mound can be seen today on private property in the Nacoochee Valley in White County near Helen, just off Highway 75 at its intersection with the Unicoi Turnpike.
The mound was excavated in 1915 by an expedition sponsored by the Museum of the American Indian, the Heye Foundation, and the Bureau of American Ethnology, making it one of the earliest scientific excavations of its kind in the state. Although excavation techniques at that time were not so rigorously scientific as today's standards, the Nacoochee Mound excavations uncovered evidence for at least two mound stages with a total of seventy-five human burials, some of them intrusive from a later time. About a third of the burials had accompanying artifacts indicating high social status, such as hammered copper celts and sheet ornaments, stone celts and discoidals, conch shell beads and cups, and elaborate pottery. Some of the intrusive burials also contained European glass beads and sheet brass ornaments, placing them within the seventeenth-century contact era.
Archaeological evidence at the Nacoochee Mound site and its near neighbor the Eastwood site indicates that these two mound sites probably served as local, primarily administrative centers during the Middle Lamar Period, sometime during the late fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries. There is also evidence, however, for previous occupation at both sites (particularly Eastwood) during the Etowah Period three centuries earlier. Although the village around Nacoochee Mound has not been excavated, it may have been occupied until much later. It is possibly the site of Nacoochee or Chota, two Cherokee villages documented for this valley during the 1715 expedition of Colonel George Chicken. These two towns continued to appear on maps until the mid-eighteenth century but were abandoned shortly thereafter.
close

Loading

Further Reading
George G. Heye, F. W. Hodge, and George H. Pepper, The Nacoochee Mound in Georgia (New York: Museum of the American Indian, Heye Foundation, 1918).

Robert Wauchope, Archaeological Survey of Northern Georgia with a Test of Some Cultural Hypotheses (Salt Lake City: Society for American Archaeology, 1966).
Cite This Article
Langford, James B. "Nacoochee Mound." New Georgia Encyclopedia. 13 February 2013. Web. 30 August 2014.
From Our Home Page
Geographic Regions of Georgia: Overview

The diverse landscapes of Georgia result from geological and climatic forces working throughout time, with some recent direct influence from human activities.

Read more...
James Brown (ca. 1933-2006)

James Brown, who grew up in Augusta, was one of the most influential musicians of the last half of the twentieth century.

Read more...
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), with headquarters in Atlanta, has been a key factor in combating many of the hea

Read more...
Atlanta Campaign

The "Atlanta campaign" is the name given by historians to the military operations that took place in north Georgia during the Civ

Read more...
Courtesy of Hargrett Rare Book and Manuscript Library, University of Georgia Libraries