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The First Americans Were Engineers, Not Farmers

By: April Carson

The Poverty Point people who lived in northeastern Louisiana more than three millennia ago were previously thought to be hunter-gatherers. However, scientists from the Universities of Washington and Colorado (USA) discovered that their community was considerably more complex.

The Poverty Point archaeological site

The Poverty Point Archaeological Site is a prehistoric earthwork and mounds constructed by local people between 1700 and 1000 BC during the late archaic period of North American history.

This is considered the region's oldest culture, according to researchers, although previously it was thought that these ancient people were primitive. This was demonstrated by the ornaments and tools discovered in the past. The structures created by this society, on the other hand, proved to be incredibly complex and difficult to construct even with contemporary building techniques.

The significance of the structures

Its purpose is unknown, but it may have been something like a trading post or a sacred complex. According to scientists, the location might have been a religious center that attracted travelers from all across the continent.

"It is a very impressive site," says Douglas J. Kennett, professor of environmental archaeology at Pennsylvania State University and co-author of the research. "The concentration of architectural features on this scale is not present anywhere else in the New World." According to scientists, the discovery has revealed how these ancient people lived.

The construction required roughly 1.5 million cubic meters of earth. These buildings were built without the use of modern tools, equipment, or even wheeled vehicles or draft animals. In America at this time, people didn't have horses or domesticated cattle as a result of which it's impossible to know how they accomplished it.

The most amazing aspect is that the earthen fortifications have withstood more than three thousand years of warfare and attack without further fortification.

Furthermore, contemporary bridges or dams constructed with cutting-edge technology are destroyed at a far greater rate.


Poverty Point, like many other ancient sites, was suddenly abandoned at some point. This occurred roughly two millennia ago – most likely as a consequence of floods in the Mississippi Valley and climate change.

Scientists have discovered evidence that the dikes were built in a short period using contemporary dating techniques such as radiocarbon dating, microscopic soil analysis, and others. There were no indications of deterioration between the levels.


This implies that a significant personnel reserve was required for the construction of something of this scale, which was not just well structured but also held appropriate credentials. Even more so is the fact that the structures are still standing, despite the fact that they are located near to the Gulf of Mexico and receive a lot of rain.

Different types of soil

The builders used the soil in the proper proportions to create the unique strength of the structure, as demonstrated by microscopic examination. As a result, Native Americans discovered the formula for "concrete" from the soil, which, according to researchers, was beyond their capabilities as simple hunters.

From this, one may draw the conclusion that America's first civilization had a more sophisticated social structure. In fact, they were fully knowledgeable in the fields of chemistry, mineralogy and construction technology.

The study is part of a larger project called "Nassos". This includes research into how Native Americans lived in the region in which archaeologists have discovered a large number of mounds and pyramids.

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About the Blogger:

April Carson is the daughter of Billy Carson. She received her bachelor's degree in Social Sciences from Jacksonville University, where she was also on the Women's Basketball team. She now has a successful clothing company that specializes in organic baby clothes and other items. Take a look at their most popular fall fashions on

To read more of April's blogs, check out her website! She publishes new blogs on a daily basis, including the most helpful mommy advice and baby care tips! Follow on IG @bossbabymav





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