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Towosahgy State Historic Site facts for kids

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Towosahgy State Historic Site
(23 MI 2)
Towosahgy HRoe 2009 02.jpg
Towosahgy Site main platform mound
Alternate name Beckwith's Fort Archeological Site
Location Mississippi, Missouri, United States
Region Missouri Bootheel
Cultures Mississippian culture
Architectural styles platform mound
Architectural details Number of monuments: 4
Beckwith's Fort Archeological Site
Area 116 acres (47 ha)
NRHP reference No. 69000113
Added to NRHP July 29, 1969
Towosahgy State Historic Site
Elevation 299 ft (91 m)
Established 1967
Governing body Missouri Department of Natural Resources
Website Towosahgy State Historic Site

Towosahgy State Historic Site (23MI2), also known as Beckwith's Fort Archeological Site, is a large Mississippian archaeological site with a Woodland period Baytown culture component located in Mississippi County, Missouri. It is believed to have been inhabited from c. 400-1350. The site is maintained by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources as a state historic site. The name Towosahgy is an Osage word which means "old town." It is not known if members of the historic Osage, who dominated a large area of present-day Missouri at the beginning of encounter with European colonizers, occupied the site. The site was acquired by the Missouri state park system in 1967 and added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1969 as NRIS number 69000113,

History of Towosahgy

The earliest portion of Towosahgy State Historic Site is in the southern half, where a Late Woodland period village once stood. Wilkie dates this component to about 400 to 700 CE.

Later the site was fortified and built up as a Mississippian village with seven platform mounds, most surrounding a central plaza area. During this time, the site was surrounded by a palisade wall of vertical logs and a moat. Like other Mississippian mound centers, Towosahgy also had a borrow pit, where earth was removed to create the mounds. The largest remaining mound is Mound 2, also known as the "temple mound". Excavations on this part of the site were conducted in 1989 by James Price. The site was abandoned during the late fourteenth century for unknown reasons, as were many similar Mississippian sites in the region.

Ceramics from the site represent typical pottery found in the Missouri Bootheel region. Sherds from the Woodland occupation are typically grog tempered. The later Mississippian culture pottery is shell tempered. Type varieties identified include Baytown Plain and Mulberry Creek Cordmarked. Mississippian ceramics were also both plain and decorated. Punctuated, incised, fabric impressed, and red, black, and brown painted/slipped sherds, typical decorating methods, are all present. A large collection of ceramic vessels from the site are part of the Beckwith Collection displayed at the Rosemary Berkel and Harry L. Crisp II Museum at Southeast Missouri State University.

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