Rock Eagle Effigy Mound | Eatonton, Georgia
Eatonton GA 31024
Estimated to be about 2,000 years old, many believe Native Americans created this stone effigy, consisting entirely of milky quartz rock, for ceremonial purposes. Shaped like a prone bird, the stone effigy mound measures eight feet high at the breast. The soaring bird is 102 feet long from head to tail and 120 feet wide from wing tip to wing tip.
According to the University of Georgia website: "Archaeologists associate the mound with the Middle Woodland Period (100-300 A.D.). Some scientists have suggested a possible relationship between the builders of Rock Eagle and the Hopewell Culture, mound builders active in the Great Lakes region and the Mississippi and Ohio River Valleys from 200 B.C. - 500 A.D."
Other than the stones used to build the effigy, very little archaeological evidence has been found at the site. University of Georgia archaeologist A. R. Kelly excavated much of the site during the 1930s and found a single set of human remains and a projectile point that may or may not be connected to the mound. The Works Progress Administration helped build a three-tower granite tower at the foot of the effigy, providing an excellent view for visitors.
In the 1950s, another research project located a single quartz tool along with evidence of cremated human burials in the mound. In 1954, Kelly reported that Rock Eagle showed indications of having been enclosed by a wall of material similar to the rocks used to construct the effigies. This, perhaps, associates them with the builders of similar walls at Stone Mountain, which was destroyed in 1923, and Fort Mountain, which is still standing.
Today, the University of Georgia operates the Rock Eagle 4-H Center on land adjacent to the mound. The mound is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is open to the public free of charge from dawn to dusk. Visitors can not access the mound directly, but can climb the rather steep tower.