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Visit the Rock Eagle Effigy in Eatonton Georgia.

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About 5,000 years old, this prehistoric rock effigy in the shape of an eagle is believed to have been built by a tribe of Creek Indians as a ceremonial meeting place.

While there is strong evidence that the area was occupied by Archaic Indians at that time, scholars no longer believe that they created the mound. Current archaeology suggests the mound was built between 1,000 and 3,000 years ago by Woodland Indians. These Native Americans may have been part of the Adena or Hopewell cultures. It is more likely that they represented a unique group.

Rock Eagle EffigyThe Bald eagle was considered to be in direct contact with the spirit upper world. Many southeastern tribes were thought to be "sun" worshippers.

The mound depicts a bird with a large beak and a fan tail. It measures 120 feet from head to tail and 102 feet from wingtip to wingtip. The bird's head is often described as being turned to the east (see Marker info below) "to face the rising sun", perhaps to suggest a cosmological significance to its placement. However, the bird's head actually faces south by southeast, and its beak points almost due south. The rocks comprising the bird's chest are piled eight to ten feet high, while the wings, tail, and head rise lower. Archeologists found non-indigenous clay on the mound, suggesting that materials were brought to it from other areas during construction.

Early archaeologists also found evidence of a human cremation on the mound, as well as a projectile point. Some scholars believe the mound resembles a buzzard or vulture more than an eagle. As the buzzard was a symbol of death among some of the indigenous peoples, it would have been a fitting image for a burial mound. Rock Eagle is known as a burial site.
Access - Access to the mound itself is prohibited, and the site is surrounded by a tall fence. The University of Georgia administers the site. It uses much of the adjoining land for a 4-H camp, with cottages and other buildings, and day and residential environmental education.

Rock Eagle Effigy and buildingVisitors are permitted to visit the mound free of charge. The site is located adjacent to State Route 441 between the cites of Madison and Eatonton.

Bronze Marker - In 1940 a state heritage society put a bronze marker near the head of the image that reads:

ROCK EAGLE MOUND - Mound of prehistoric origin, believed to be the ceremonial mound, made with white quartz rocks in the shape of an eagle, head turned to east, length 102 feet, spread of wings 120 feet, depth of breast 8 feet. Only two such configurations discovered east of the Mississippi River. Both are in Putnam County.

"Tread softly here white man for long ere you came strange races lived, fought and loved."

Erected by the Georgia Society Colonial Dames of the XVII Century.
June 1940

Free to visit and free parking. Address: 350 Rock Eagle Rd., Eatonton Georgia 31024



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