Sunday, August 7, 2011

Old Stone Fort State Archaeology Park - Manchester Tennessee

(Flashback - 2009)
Old Stone Fort State Archaeology Park is located on the site of a 2000 year-old Woodland Indian ceremonial grounds. What's amazing is the fact that the perfectly flat 50 acre hilltop is almost completely surrounded by a rock and dirt wall. Where there is no wall, cliffs and rivers protect the area. As is the case of our favorite Georgia state park, Fort Mountain, the first non-natives to visit the area assumed the enclosure was a fort, and understandably so.

Although no one ever actually lived on the site, (according to archaeologists) it was constructed, maintained, and used for a period of around 400 years. The wall contains no rocks over 70 pounds. That means nothing placed in the wall was heavier than a single person could lift and carry 

There is a very nice on-site museum that describes the archaeological processes and findings very clearly, including a time tunnel that demonstrates what was happening elsewhere on Earth at simultaneous times related to the building of this old ceremonial ground.

Although some of the Richardson Tribe didn't think they wanted to hike, the 1.2 mile hike was very easy with lots of neat things to see. By the end of the loop, everyone wanted to go around again, but it was time for lunch. After lunch, we played around the campground, then drove about 20 minutes to Morrison Tennessee for some unusual fun the kids loved, a monster truck ride (more on that later).

The campground at Old Stone Fort is accessed by crossing an old-fashioned truss bridge that, at first sight, seems too small to fit or/support a large
RV. We were assured that the Tribe's Homer II would fit through the ironworks, and it did. Camping is just $17 a night ($14 for TN seniors), but don't expect any full hookups or pull-through sites. All sites are back in but most are pretty big and very level. There is water and electricity, but we were unable to get any television reception, which was just fine.

For more pictures and information about Old Stone Fort State Archaeology Park, click here.

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