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Ancient Mound At Poverty Point, La. Built With Surprising Speed, Archaeologists Say

Ancient Mound At Poverty Point, La. Built With Surprising Speed, Archaeologists Say

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The enormous earthen monument Poverty Point, built on a Mississippi River bayou some 3,200 years ago, is an impressive feat of engineering. Hunter-gatherers moved more than 26.5 million cubic feet (750,000 cubic meters) of dirt to create concentric ridges and several large mounds in what is today northern Louisiana.

Now researchers say one of the most impressive earthworks at the site likely took shape in fewer than 90 days, built by thousands of Native American laborers using a "bucket brigade" system.

"Given that a band of 25-30 people is considered quite large for most hunter-gatherer communities, it's truly amazing that this ancient society could bring together a group of nearly 10,000 people, find some way to feed them and get this mound built in a matter of months," Kidder said.

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