Spiro Mounds site to host winter solstice walks Dec. 21

The Spiro Mounds Archaeological Center is the only prehistoric American Indian site open to the public in Oklahoma

SPIRO -- On Dec. 21, the Spiro Mounds Archaeological Center will host guided walks to share information about the winter solstice and how prehistoric American Indians dealt with the changes in the seasons.

Archaeologist and manager Dennis Peterson will lead the guided walks starting at 11 a.m., 2 p.m., and 7 p.m. Each walk will take about two hours and require a mile of easy walking.

"The pace of life today is so rushed and hectic that the natural rhythms of the sun, moon and stars are forgotten. American Indian farmers understood these rhythms. In the rhythm of the sun, the winter solstice is a period of rest, preparation and celebration," states a press release from the Spiro Mounds Archaeological Center.

Peterson will discuss this unique, prehistoric American Indian mound site, the types of mounds at the site, why they were created and why some of the mounds are lined up for the sunsets of the solstices and equinoxes. He will also discuss the history of the excavations, American Indian ceremonies and stories and tales of the unusual happenings associated with the mounds. For those wishing to see the sunset, the 2 p.m. walk will end just before sunset, which is when the winter solstice alignment will take place.

There is a fee for these walks of $5 for adults and $3 for children in addition to the regular daily admission fee. Oklahoma Historical Society members do not pay the daily admission fee. No reservations are required, except for large groups. Visitors should use cash or checks for fees. Credit cards are not accepted.

The Spiro Mounds Archaeological Center is the only prehistoric American Indian site open to the public in Oklahoma and is administered by the Oklahoma Historical Society. The center is open Wednesday through Saturday from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. and Sunday from noon until 5 p.m. Daily admission is $7 for adults, $5 for seniors, $4 for children older than six and $18 for a family.

The center is located three miles east of Spiro on Highway 9/271 and four miles north on Lock and Dam Road. For information or to schedule a group or school tour, call 918-962-2062 or email spiro@okhistory.org.