Poverty Point site to hold starlight hike

Published 10:55 am Friday, April 4, 2014


A demonstration of prehistoric tools and a nighttime hike are set for the next two weeks at the site of one of North America’s oldest known settlements.

Poverty Point State Historic Site in Pioneer, La., will hold a tool demonstration Sunday followed by a starlit hike though the park April 12.

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The tool demonstration program will discuss how the early Poverty Point inhabitants made and used stone tools. It includes a hands-on artifacts display, with audience participation encouraged.

The event will run every hour on the hour, beginning at 1 p.m. and ending at 4 p.m.

Beginning at 7 p.m. April 12, rangers will lead a hike though the ancient earthworks. The program will end with telling animal-related stories around a campfire while roasting marshmallows, park officials said.

Participants will explore the park’s earthen ridges and mounds while learning about the prehistoric peoples that once occupied the site more than 3,500 years ago.

Natives known as Poverty Point People constructed a complex of semi-elliptical earthen ridges and mounds centered on a 35-acre flat plaza in what is now the state historical site. The largest mound — Mound A — is in the shape of a bird and is believed to have been built over a period of a few months by men and women carrying baskets of dirt.

Participants in the hike are encouraged to wear weather appropriate clothing and shoes. A flashlight will be provided.

Last year, Poverty Point State Historic Site was nominated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and a determination on the designation is expected sometime this year.

Other World Heritage Sites include the birthplace of Jesus, the Great Wall of China and the Great Pyramid at Giza. In 2013 UNESCO added 19 sites to the list, but no new heritage sites have been added yet for 2014.

Admission is $4. Children younger than 12 and adults 62 and older are admitted free. The park is open daily from  9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

For more information on the historic site, call 888-926-5492.