Historic Markers Across Tennessee

Changing Size and Color

Marker ID:  
Location: in Shiloh Park near the Tennessee River, Shiloh, TN
County: Hardin
Coordinates: N 35° 8.668    W 088° 19.198
  35.14446666    -88.31996666
Waymark: None


Changing Size and Color

Seven hundred years ago you would have been looking at a mound covered with bright red clay instead of green grass, and you would have been gazing respectfully at a ceremonial building on the top.

The largest mound rises 25 feet above the ground's natural level, where you are standing. Originally the mound may have been low and round on the top.

Over the years, townspeople enlarged this structure by adding layers of brown, yellow, and gray soil. They made the top flat and coated the surface red. They also added a six-to-eight-foot apron on the west and south sides. What all the colors mean is unknown. The colors may represent which clan was in power. White may represent peaceful times and red, warlike periods.

Over the years stream-bank erosion has reduced the size of the apron and the mound.

Revealing Colors
Excavations in 2001-2003 revealed bands of color in the mound. These layers were created as different kinds of clay were added to the mound.

Mound cross-sections, 2003

Erected by National Park Service U. S, Department of the Interior.

Pictures of this marker can be found on HMDB.org