The Kolomoki site includes seven preserved mounds. The largest of these, Mound A,
Mounds D and E stand opposite Mound A, forming a line to the west. These mounds served as burial repositories. Each of the two mounds included large caches of ceramic vessels, some elaborately decorated in the forms of animals and people. The ceramic caches were deposited on the eastern sides of the mounds, presumably during mortuary rites.
The Smithsonian Institution, in Washington, D.C., conducted excavations at Kolomoki between 1894 and 1897. Since then the only large-scale, modern excavations were led by archaeologist William Sears from 1948 to 1953. Sears believed that the site dated to the Mississippian Period (A.D. 800-1600), when such large, flat-topped structures as Mound A were built throughout the Southeast. However, archaeologists now recognize that the main occupation of Kolomoki dates to the Woodland Period (1000 B.C.-A.D. 900).
Kolomoki Mounds State Historic Park is open year-round. A small museum shows the interior of Mound E as it was left after excavation, and exhibits provide background information on the site.
Jerald T. Milanich, The Archaeology of Precolumbian Florida (Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 1994).
Jerald T. Milanich, et al., McKeithen Weeden Island: The Culture of Northern Florida, A.D. 200-900 (New York: Academic Press, 1984).
Thomas J. Pluckhahn, Kolomoki: Settlement, Ceremony, and Status in the Deep South, A.D. 350 to 750 (Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 2003).
William H. Sears, Excavations at Kolomoki: Final Report (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1956).
Christopher Trowell, "A Kolomoki Chronicle: The History of a Plantation, a State Park, and the Archaeological Search for Kolomoki's Prehistory," Early Georgia 26, no. 1 (1998).
Mark Williams and Daniel T. Elliott, eds., A World Engraved: Archaelogy of the Swift Creek Culture (Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 1998).
Thomas J. Pluckhahn, University of South Florida, Tampa
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