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Swallow Bluff Island Mounds

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Title: Swallow Bluff Island Mounds  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Shiloh Indian Mounds Site, Savannah Archaeological Site, Caborn-Welborn culture, Mississippian culture, South Appalachian Mississippian culture
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Swallow Bluff Island Mounds

Swallow Bluff Island Mounds
40 HR 16
Swallow Bluff Island Mounds40 HR 16 is located in Tennessee
Swallow Bluff Island Mounds40 HR 16
Swallow Bluff Island Mounds
40 HR 16
Location within Tennessee today
Country  USA
Region Hardin County, Tennessee
Nearest town Saltillo, Tennessee
Culture Mississippian culture
First occupied CE
Excavation and maintenance
Notable archaeologists Clarence Bloomfield Moore
Architectural styles Platform mounds, plaza

The Swallow Bluff Island Mounds (40HR16) is a Mississippian culture archaeological site located near Saltillo on an island in the Tennessee River in Hardin County, Tennessee.


The Swallow Bluff Island Mound Site is the northernmost outpost of the Mississippian culture Shiloh polity, a group of communities centered on the much larger Shiloh or Savannah Mound Sites. The site featured two platform mounds, a plaza and a village area. When Clarence Bloomfield Moore visited the site in 1914 he recorded the larger mounds dimensions as a square 130 feet (40 m) base, 50 feet (15 m) diameter top platform area and as being 18 feet (5.5 m) in height. Excavations in 2003 revealed the mound had been built up in four different construction stages. Moore also described the mound as being very close to the river, although he did not record how close. By the late twentieth century the river had encroached onto the mound and by the early 2000s a significant amount of it had been eroded away.[1]


In his 1914 visit C. B. Moore dug into the main mound looking for pottery and other artifacts. He found over twenty stone box graves at the summit of the mound. After his visit the site would go without notice again, except by locals and looters, for almost seventy years. In the early 1980s archaeologist Gerald Smith visited the site to investigate suspected pot looters holes, although they may actually been the remnants of Moore's "excavations". After a disastrous flood in 2003, archaeological surveys and excavations were undertaken to learn as much about the mound as possible before it was completely claimed by the river.[1]

See also


  1. ^ a b Welch, Paul D. (Summer 2004). Michael C. Moore, ed. "Fieldwork at Swallow Bluff Island Mounds, Tennessee (40HR16) in 2003". Tennessee Archaeology (Tennessee Council for Professional Archaeology) 1 (1): 36–48. 

External links

  • Developer Neglects Site, Blames State
  • Sites in Need of Protection:Swallow Bluff Island, Tennessee
  • Archaeology at Shiloh Indian mounds, 1899-1999 By Paul D. Welch
  • AIM Report: Al Gore’s Embarrassing Uncle
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