Stairs at Lake Jackson
Wooden stairways lead
visitors to the top of the two
surviving mounds at the park.
Lake Jackson Mounds
The state park preserves
what remains of a significant
Native American civilization
that flourished 500 years ago. - Lake Jackson Mounds, Florida - Lake Jackson Mounds, Florida
Lake Jackson Mounds Archaeological State Park - Florida
Lake Jackson Mounds State Park
This archaeological park in Tallahassee preserves
the site of a major early Florida civilization.
Tallahassee's Ancient City
More than 500 years before Tallahassee
became the capital city of modern Florida, a
parcel of land in the northern edge of the city
was the capital of a major Native American

Lake Jackson Mounds Archaeological State
Park preserves two large platform mounds
that were once centerpieces of life in an
ancient city. The site, named for nearby Lake
Jackson, was a major ceremonial complex.

Archaeological research here has revealed
that the people who built the Lake Jackson
Mounds were members of the Mississippian
culture (900 - 1540 A.D.). They performed
elaborate religious ceremonies here and
used Lake Jackson as the center of power
for a chiefdom that stretched across much of
the region.

Researchers believe that the occupants of
the Lake Jackson site were the ancestors of
the Apalachee Indians found living in the
region by the Spanish. In fact, the two
societies were not far removed. It is generally
believed that the inhabitants of the mounds
complex suddenly abandoned the site in
around 1500. The first Spanish explorers
reached the region less than 40 years later.

No one knows for sure what caused the
collapse of the society centered at Lake
Jackson. The inhabitants of the site were
believers in a Mississippian religion that
some have called the "Southern Cult."
Clearly, the people lost faith in their religion
but the reason why is not known.
View from the Top
The view from the top of the
largest mound gives visitors a
panoramic view of the entire
Lake Jackson Mounds site.
The Apalachee were still a powerful nation
when first encountered by the Spanish.  Their
warlike reputation among the other Native
American peoples of Florida clearly speaks
to the lingering power of the chiefdom.

Lake Jackson Mounds Archaeological State
Park preserves the surviving mounds and
also offers an interpretive trail leading
through the forested remains of the 19th
century Butler plantation. The park is located
just off Crowder Road, which leads from U.S.
27 North in Tallahassee.
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Copyright 2011 by Dale Cox
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