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Etowah Mounds by Torchlight

October 16, 2007


Chers Amis,

Last Saturday night  (Oct. 6th)  we drove up to the Etowah Indian mounds in Cartersville for their annual Torch Light Tour of the Ancient City.     I had been wanting to come to the  torchlight tour for several years so I was so happy when our social director (dh) proposed a trip north to Cartersville for  the antique car show, dinner and the Bridge_with_torchesmounds. We arrived at dusk just as the sun was sinking behind the hills and bluish smoke from the torches created a swirling haze that lent a
magical air to the sunset. The weather was perfect – high sixties/low seventies, a very light breeze and no bugs.    We partook of the lemonade and cookies in the museum narthex  while  we waited for our group to be called.  It was only about 10 min, but in that time the sun had slipped beneath the horizon and the site was lit only by  torchlight.

Our guide gathered us at the bridge and lead us over the deep ravine dug for the Mississippian era dwellers protection into the plaza.  There a docent  spoke about the size and shape of the plaza, the history of the site and of the people who had called this beautiful spot along the Etowah river home so many centuries ago.  We quietly mounted the 127 steps to the top of Mound A where another docent greeted us and the spangled sky seemed to reach down to envelop the flat summit.  100_1771

Down the steps  we proceeded, through the plaza and between two smaller mounds to an area along the river where a young man played a wooden flute.  Within a circle of trees  sparks flew as he left his music and set to work building an authentic dug out canoe from an immense Tulip poplar.  He explained the use of ancient tools and methods and said he hoped to put the boat in the water this spring.  He has a nice blog which chronicling his work too.

The group continued through the dark to a blazing fire.  There a potter described how the Native Americans had created various styles and types of pottery at Etowah from the local clay.  Ringing the fire and  glowing in the embers animal figures, stamped pots, and human faces in potter were firing in the flames and coals.  A few paces further down the path a gentleman demonstrated flint knapping for another group drawn close by his gentle hammering.  It was wonderful evening at the Mounds and for those100_1772 of you in the area, I highly suggest you watch for next year’s Torchlight celebration and mark it on your calendar  under ‘events not to miss.’

—  Marjorie

PS – we plan to go back up to the mounds during daylight hours later this month so we can visit the museum, walk around the grounds and along the river. It is a gorgeous location.


2 Comments leave one →
  1. October 17, 2007 12:25 am

    This sounds so neat.

  2. October 19, 2007 8:58 pm

    We did the torchlight trip a couple of years ago and loved it! It sounds the same, including the guy digging out a canoe – he was very interesting. Unfortunately there wasn’t a potter there that night.

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