Etowah Mounds located in Cartersville, Georgia are something that I would recommend everyone to checkout if you are in the state of Georgia. Located just about 45 minutes north of Atlanta, Georgia, these mounds are massive and gives you a feel of how this country was developed before all of the colonizing started to take place in the Americas.
This trip to the Etowah Mounds Historic Site (813 Indian Mound Rd SE, Cartersville, GA 30120) came about as my wife and I decided that we wanted to take a family day trip. Since we took a trip to Macon, Georgia to visit the Ocmulgee Mound, we figured we can’t know and seen one without seeing the other mounds in Georgia. So we took the hour and half drive north to see if their was any difference and to experience the area in Cartersville.
Anytime you get close to the Georgia mountains it’s always a great visit. Pulling up to the area you can already see one major mound that almost greets you as you turn the corner on the 52 acre land. Crazy enough, the visit to the mounds wasn’t our first time as a few days before we got there 30 minutes before it was about to close (We should have check online to see they close at 5pm), BUT we found out that day that the museum was free. This actually worked out in our favor because we was able to take in a lot of the information within the museum without feeling we truly had to rush back in from outside.
Within the museum you get to learn more about the Etowah Natives who lived in the region from 1000–1550 AD and how they lived on the shore line of the Etowah River. Inside you are able to see many of the artifacts that were found in the area from their axes, masks, dolls, ritual pipes and more. A few things that I loved about the information is seeing some of the necklaces that they would were as well which look very similar to Aztec and Mayan art work and jewel. After looking it up, comes to find out that the people who made up the Etowah Nation had migrated from Western Mexico.
Another thing that caught our attention was these 2 statues that we came to read on and found out that they were fertility statues that was used for rituals. Both statues were a representation of Mother Nature and would be used in rituals. When you see them at first, we almost thought they may have already had a hate for some people, because you see these white painted figures being dump in what would seem to be a hole, or maybe fire. But it was tribal paint on the statues not them actually being white.
Within the museum you also able to watch a video on the history of the Etowah Native. Watching the video you can see how thing came to be all the way to the Trail of Tears taking place in the 1830’s. It also shows why many natives, even though considered one of the 5 Civilized Tribes, did not like the Cherokee Natives that much. Before the trail of tears took place many natives started to try to work with Europeans due to diseases quickly killing off their nations from generation to generation. Which lead to many coming to accept ways they totally disagreed with but was simply trying to survive.
Out of all of them, the Cherokee was the MOST acceptive of their way and if you drive just 20 minutes north you can visit the New Echota Historic Site and understand quickly that the area looks nothing like any other Native American site and at the end all of the them took suffered a horrible loss.
Having to come back another day to visit the mounds we actually got to enjoy just being in the sun. Our daughter definitely loved this area as it allowed her to just run freely, but also their were a TON of butterflies. I’m not sure if it was because of the season or not, but it was amazing. Especially due to the symbolism of butterflies being a metaphor for transformation and hope; across cultures and it is a symbol for rebirth and resurrection, for the triumph of the spirit and the soul over the physical prison. This symbolism truly made me feel as we were protected and definitely not alone. Plus somehow my daughter was able to catch one and let it go as they continued to fly around her.
One thing I will say is I’m glad my wife and I love hiking and have been to some places that has had a massive amount of stairs. These mounds are not huge, but trust me, you might want to take a break once you get to the top of them. Many of these mounts were used for the trade, or for chiefs and their homes, or other hierarchies within the nation.
All together their are about 6 mounds, but 3 of them are more than likely be the ones you will like to see and take pictures of. This place is peaceful and is great for a class history lessons and for a family outing. The great thing about Georgia is their is so many places to visit and learn throughout this state, but the Etowah Mounds are definitely one to put on your bucket list for the state.
Checkout pictures from the Etowah Mounds Historic Site Below: