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Summit Hill students explore Etowah Indian Mounds



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A Summit Hill fourth-grade class poses in front of Mound A, which served as a platform for an ancient temple and tribal chief’s home. Front row, from left: Avery Moorman, Madison Bolling, Reagan Jones, Katie Draper, Madeleine Thurman, Benjamin Bluestein, Jett Johnston and George Klein. Middle, from left: Brooke McDermott, Madison Sofia, Connor Fields, Ryan Counts, Elizabeth Czerniawsky, Michael Ovbey, Rylan Linscott, Jackson Eneberg, Ben Cackowski-Schnell and Hunter Coleman. Back row, from left: teachers Erica Greene and Devon Barnes, Audrey Kittila, Jake Atchison, Jonas Lang, Davy VanBrackle, Ben Homrich, Matthew LeMoyne, Connor McHugh and Cameron Dye. KATIE VANBRACKLE. (click for larger version)
October 18, 2012
MILTON, Ga. – The fourth-grade classes at Summit Hill Elementary traveled back in time recently during a field trip to an ancient Indian city.

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Students climb to the top of Mound B, the second largest structure on the 54-acre historic site, which rises along the northern bank of the Etowah River. KATIE VANBRACKLE. (click for larger version)
Rising on the northern bank of the Etowah River near Cartersville, Ga., the Etowah Indian Mounds Historic Site was home to several thousand Native Americans from 1000 to 1550 A.D. and remains the most intact Mississippian Culture site in the Southeast.

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A park ranger explains how Native Americans used local natural resources to craft weapons, pottery, jewelry and homes. KATIE VANBRACKLE. (click for larger version)
Having just completed a study of Native American tribes, the students explored several large earthen mounds, a wattle and daub house, a hand-carved canoe and a V-shaped fish trap built of stones stretching across the Etowah River.

Rangers from the Georgia Department of Natural Resources explained how spears, bows and arrows, pottery and jewelry were made using only the natural resources found in the area.

The biggest thrill of the afternoon came when the students climbed to the top of the largest mound. Standing atop the 63-foot earthen structure, the students could easily imagine themselves as an ancient tribal chief surveying fields of the "three sisters" (corn, beans and squash) growing in the Etowah River Valley below or perhaps watching a thrilling game of stickball, the ancestor of today's sport of lacrosse.

For the Summit Hill students, it was an afternoon of living history they will not soon forget.

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