I just finished visiting the Spiro mounds, hoping to gain the inspiration I needed to continue working on my thesis. I wanted to find the river that this great Mississippian empire was built on. I knew the mounds were near the river, just directly behind the archaeological site. The rivers in my part of the state just don't look the same. We go four wheeling in the Red River.
You won't be going four wheeling in the Arkansas River. This is a lock and dam and barges go through here until they get to the port. Yes, there is a port in Oklahoma. Didn't you know this? Probably not if you're from the arid west like I am.
How impressive, seeing this great river, certainly gives me a better idea of why a great city could have developed just south of this river! The first time I visited the Spiro Mounds we did not do any exploring other than driving too and from. I had no idea this dam was behind the mounds. Here is an earlier post of the Spiro Mounds from June of 2010. In June of 2010, I was not a graduate student working on a Masters Degree in Native American studies. I didn't know I would be a graduate student yet (despite that being one of my goals). I didn't know that a few years later I would be returning to visit with this place on my mind for my thesis. I'm grateful for the series of events that led me to my return to the Spiro Mounds and in finding this dam.
One of the fundamental problems with America. We have a Government that is not truly "We the People" we have a Government that says "This is the Government's Property" despite that the Government is supposedly of and by the people. Take some time and think about this.
I took another road in between the Spiro site and the dam to get a closer look at the river and found an abandoned campground, which was eerie. Compared to the ancient well upkept mound builder site, the campground was overgrown and forgotten. Much as Spiro was. But, I imagine underneath this campground more of Spiro and Missisippian heritage is buried deep under the earth.