MILTON, Ga. – The fourth-grade classes at Summit Hill Elementary traveled back in time recently during a field trip to an ancient Indian city.
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.
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.