For Indigenous Peoples Day, here are 5 Oklahoma places to learn about Native American cultures

The Spiro Mounds in Oklahoma are one of the United States’ most important ancient Native American sites. The Spiro people are nearly forgotten in the pages of history books, despite creating one of the most sophisticated ancient cultures. It is believed that the Spiroan people, along with other Mississippian groups across the eastern half of North America, created a world equal to that of the Aztec, Maya or Inca, consisting of trade networks and highly developed social, political and religious centers. 

Spiro Mounds Archaeological Center preserves 150 acres of the site along the Arkansas River. The center offers interpretive exhibits, an introductory slide program and a small gift shop. There are nearly two miles of interpreted trails, including a half-mile nature trail. 

Artifacts indicate an extensive trade network, a highly-developed religious center and a political system which controlled the entire region. Located on a bend of the Arkansas River, the site was a natural gateway from which the Spiro people exerted their influence. Much of the Spiro culture is still a mystery, as well as the reasons for the decline and abandonment of the site.

Maintained by the Oklahoma Historical Society, Spiro Mounds Archaeological Center is located northeast of Spiro, Oklahoma, four miles north of US-271. The site is closed for state holidays. Hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday
and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday. 

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