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Caddo Mounds State Historic Site, Alto

(4.5/5 based on 25 reviews on the web)
Caddo Mounds State Historic Site is an archaeological site in Cherokee County, Texas used by peoples of the Caddoan Mississippian culture and is composed of a prehistoric village and ceremonial center. The site is located on the original El Camino Real de los Tejas trail, dating before European exploration. The site has two platform mounds and one burial mound. Archaeologists believe the site was founded in approximately 800, with most major construction taking place between 1100 and 1300. It is located 6mi west of Alto, Texas on Texas State Highway 21 near its intersection with U.S. Route 69 in the Piney Woods region of east Texas. Operated by the Texas Historical Commission, the museum had its grand re-opening in October 2015. The new museum offers visitors a chance to explore a replica Caddo village; all exhibits are hands-on. Visitors can walk the 0.7mi self-guided interpretive trail to see the Caddo’s burial, low temple, and ceremonial mounds. An additional trail along the El Camino Real is also available.DescriptionThe site began with the founding of a permanent village by the Hasinai, who moved into the region from the Red River area to the northeast, in roughly 850 to 900. The region possessed ideal qualities for the establishment of a village: good soil, abundant food resources, and a permanent water source that flowed into the Neches River. What eventually became the largest mound, Mound A, was begun at this time. It is at the southern edge of the site, and was surrounded by about 40 houses. In 1100 a new mound was begun near the center of the site, Mound B, and would eventually measure roughly 175 feet (55 meters) north-south and 115 feet (35 meters) east-west. Mound C, the northernmost mound of the three, was used as a burial mound, not for elite residences or temples like the other two. The site was the southwestern-most ceremonial mound center of all the great mound building cultures of North America.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • Great short trip from Mission Tejas. About an hour to tour it. Great exhibits about the early Caddoans.  more »
  • This area was settled a looong time ago: earlier than most people would know. If you are in the area, you should visit and find out about the history of the site. If you don't have the time or energy ...  more »
  • Great stop to learn about a part of Texas history. My boys loved the golf cart ride to the different parts of the property and they really loved that it's a "touch" museum. We played drums, tried out ...  more »
Google
  • Fascinating look at an old part of Native American Texas. Great historical and pre historical value. The atlatl was interesting, several of our kids were able to throw it accurately. Also, the Rice house in Grapevine Texas was a worthwhile stop off along the way.
  • Great stop to learn about a part of Texas history. My boys loved the golf cart ride to the different parts of the property and they really loved that it's a "touch" museum. We played drums, tried out a bow and arrow (no shooting of arrows, don't worry) and sat down on a wolf-skin blanket. A great stop for kids.
  • Educational but not time consuming. We were there about an hour and a half.
  • Very interesting site, and they did a good job of relating mound building cultures to their possible present day descendants. The staff was great, they even offered me a golf cart to use! Worth a stop for some ancient Texas heritage.
  • I agree with what the other gentle man said. The man that runs the place is great, and he is was very helpful to our situation. My son needed some pictures for a school project, but we got there a few minutes after closing time. He not only allowed us in, he also gave us a disc he made with info about the site. I hope to go back when they get there museum up an running in 2014.