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Next Sunday Outing to Old Stone Fort State Park, Manchester

We'll be leaving from the church at 2pm.  We will take the trail along the rivers and the Indian mound that is a circular walk of about 1.3 miles.   The hiking is moderate to easy.  People can cut back to the visitor's center at many points of the trail by walking through the open field that was the location of the ceremonial grounds.  As an alternative to hiking, people can choose to go through the visitor's center and some nice sitting and viewing areas.  There is a museum at the visitor's center.  Here is a detailed description of the park that I have taken from the official state park site:

The Old Stone Fort is a 2000 year-old American Indian ceremonial site. It consists of mounds and walls that combine with cliffs and rivers to form an enclosure measuring 1-1/4 miles around. The 50-acre hilltop enclosure mound site is believed to have served as a central ceremonial gathering place for some 500 years. It has been identified as, perhaps, the most spectacularly sited sacred area of its period in the United States and the largest and most complex hilltop enclosure in the south. Settlers tended to name such enclosures “forts.”

The spectacular setting occurs where two rivers drop off the plateau of the Highland Rim in Middle Tennessee and plunge to the level of the Central Basin of Tennessee. As the forks of the Duck River cut down from the plateau level they isolate a promontory between them before they join. This promontory was further set apart by the construction of long, wall-like mounds during the Woodland prehistoric period.

At the narrow neck of land between the two rivers there is a set of parallel mound walls oriented to within one degree of the summer solstice sunrise. It was typical of ancient societies to recognize this significant farthest north sunrise and to hold reenactments of creation myths at such times. Mound sites such as the 50-acre Old Stone Fort provided modified landscapes for ceremonies that may have represented in some way the culture’s concept of their place in the cosmos and a separation of the sacred and mundane or pure and impure.

Click here for the state park site.



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