Ceremony to open Batesville Mounds park

Published 9:32 am Friday, November 17, 2017

Ceremony to open Batesville Mounds park

City of Batesville workers, including Vernon Howell, and equipment have been preparing the access areas at the Batesville Mounds site. Archeologists believe that the area between Highway 35 North and the Tallahatchie River as early as 2,500 years ago. The builders constructed the mounds of a period of years, one basket of earth at a time. A grand opening celebration is scheduled for Tuesday at 10 a.m.
— Panolian photo by John Howell

Visitors who attend Tuesday’s Batesville Mounds Grand Opening celebration will have opportunity to explore the mounds and adjacent property and learn more about the ancient people who first lived there as long as 2,500 years ago.
The Batesville Mounds site once consisted of six or seven mounds, three habitation areas and two villages that were home to native Americans of the Early and Middle Woodlands period. It is situated in 90 scenic acres bordered by the Tallahatchie River. The City of Batesville acquired the property and has developed access including construction of a new rail crossing to make the site accessible to visitors.
Tuesday’s program starting at 10 a.m. will include brief remarks and acknowledgement of special guests. Among guests expected are Mimi Holland-Lilly, whose archeological research for the University of Mississippi helped to document the significance of the site for the Miss. Dept. of Archives and History.
Rick Mize, who is related to the late Howard Mize, is also expected. Howard Mize was an avid amateur archeologist whose intervention stopped development at the site that has allowed its preservation.
Lacy N. “Nikki” Mattson, a current UM archeology student, plans to display artifacts that were found during several studies during expeditions to the Batesville Mounds. Mattson is conducting community surveys to guide public outreach and education about the county’s earliest inhabitants.
Johnny Nelson will speak about efforts of the Panola County Genealogical and Historical Society (Pan Gens) to raise awareness of the site, starting with its selection for a Mississippi Mounds Trail marker.
City Engineer Blake Mendrop will describe the grant funding and other steps to make the area accessible. Representatives of the Mississippi Dept. of Archives and History, the Department of Wildlife Conservation, the Mississippi Dept. of Transportation are also expected.

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