In the Footsteps of de Soto: Parkin Archeological State Park
Mesoamerica has flashy archeological zones, like Chichen Itza, Uxmal, and Tikal. More northerly North America (currently the U.S.) was home to First Peoples generically referred to as Mississippian, whose material remains are not quite as spectacular as those further south. Part of the reason for this is that the peoples of what is now Mexico built ceremonial structures of rock, while the peoples further north built such structures of earth…which, over time, “slump.” Still, some mounds remain, though significantly slumped, like the big one at Parkin Archeological Park. Despite the destruction and construction that occurred here during the modern era, some intriguing material culture has been unearthed. One distinctive art form that has turned up in this and other Mississippian archeological zones is the head pot, a number of which are on display at Parkin Archeological State Park. Head pots are unique to this part of the world, and a number have been found in Arkansas. The head pot pictured, like many others, has slit-like or “weepy” eyes, pierced ears and a white face, which may suggest that this is a representation of a dead person. It’s believed that Parkin Archeological Park is on the site of Casqui, which was believed to be the central village in a network of over twenty smaller villages in the area. Casqui, back in the day, was a moated fortification surrounding a large mound city, chronicled in 1541 by Hernando de Soto during the early years of the European Invasion.
60 State Hwy 184, Parkin, AR 72373, USA
Sun 1pm - 5pm
Tue - Sat 8am - 5pm