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Towosahgy State Historic Site

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Title: Towosahgy State Historic Site  
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Subject: Murphy Mound Archeological Site, Campbell Archeological Site, Caborn-Welborn culture, Mississippian culture, Lunsford-Pulcher Archeological Site
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Towosahgy State Historic Site

Towosahgy State Historic Site
Missouri State Historic Site
Towosahgy Site main platform mound
Country United States
State Missouri
County Mississippi
Elevation 299 ft (91 m) [1]
Coordinates  [1]
Area 0.10 sq mi (0 km2)
Established 1967
Management Missouri Department of Natural Resources
Location in Missouri
Website: Towosahgy State Historic Site

Towosahgy State Historic Site (23MI2), also known as Beckwith's Fort, is a large Mississippian mound site with a Woodland period Baytown culture component located in Mississippi County, Missouri. It is believed to have been inhabited from circa 400-1350 CE.[2] The site is maintained by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources as a state historic site. The name Towosahgy is an Osage word which means "old town", although it is not known if the Osage were the inhabitants of the site.[3]

History of Towosahgy

The earliest portion of Towosahgy State Historic Site is in the southern half where a Late Woodland village once stood. Wilkie dates this component to about 400 to 700 CE.[2] Later the site became a fortified Mississippan site with seven mounds, most surrounding a central plaza. During this time, the site was surrounded by a palisade wall and moat.[4] Like other Mississippian mound centers, Towosahgy also had a borrow pit, where earth was removed to create the mounds. The largest remaining mound is Mound 2, also known as the "temple mound". Excavations on this part of the site were conducted by James Price in 1989.[5] The site was abandoned during the late fourteenth century for unknown reasons, like many other sites in the region.

Ceramics from the site represent typical pottery found in the Missouri Bootheel region. Sherds from the Woodland occupation are typically grog tempered, and the later Mississippian pottery is shell tempered. Type varieties identified include Baytown Plain and Mulberry Creek Cordmarked. Mississippian ceramics were also both plain and decorated. Punctated, incised, fabric impressed, and red, black, and brown painted/slipped sherds, typical decorating methods, are all present.[2][5] A large collection of ceramic vessels from the site are part of the Beckwith Collection displayed at the Rosemary Berkel and Harry L. Crisp II Museum at Southeast Missouri State University.


  1. ^ a b "Towosahgy State Park".  
  2. ^ a b c Duncan Wilkie (1988). Field Work at Towosahgy State Historic Site. Cape Girardeau, Mo.: The Center for Regional History and Cultural Heritage, Southeast Missouri State University.  
  3. ^ "Towosahgy State Historic Site". Missouri State Parks. Missouri Department of Natural Resources. Retrieved September 4, 2014. 
  4. ^ John W. Cottier and Michael D. Southard (1977). An Introduction to the Archaeology of Towosahgy State Archaeological Site. Missouri Archaeologist. pp. 230–268. 
  5. ^ a b James E. Price and Cynthia R. Price (1990). Archaeological Investigations in Three Areas of the Towosahgy State Historic Site, 23MI2, Mississippi County, Missouri, 1989. Columbia, Mo.:  

External links

  • Towosahgy State Historic Site Missouri Department of Natural Resources
  • Beckwith Collection. Rosemary Berkel and Harry L. Crisp II Museum, Southeast Missouri State University
  • The Wilkie Collection, Southeast Missouri State University Special Collections and Archive
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