Declared a United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage Site in 2014, Poverty Point is large, 910 acre prehistoric site located south of Pioneer, Louisiana along the western side of the Bayou River. It consists of 5 mounds and a semi-circle earthwork comprised of six concentric rings that are bisected by four or five aisles. The outermost ring is about three-quarters of a mile in diameter. The earthworks were built by the ancient hunter gatherers of the Poverty Point culture between 1700-1100 BCE. Archaeologists have estimated that around 53 million cubic feet of soil were moved to build the mounds. The site is the largest and most complex site from the late Archaic period found so far in North America. It was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1962.
Backstory and Context