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Monday, July 5, 2010 - 8:52am

Underground Find, Without The Digging

An archeological discovery in northwest Georgia is giving scholars a better understanding of Georgia’s pre-colonial inhabitants.

Etowah Indian Mounds State Historic Site near Cartersville already protects massive mounds of earth created by early Mississippian people between 1,100 and 1,300 A.D.

But Jim Langford of the Coosawattee Foundation says his team of archeologists recently discovered massive structures underground.

“Some of these structures are buried structures. Some of them might have been what we call council houses, or earth lodges, that are underground. That even when Indians were here were 10 – 12 – 15 feet under the ground.”

One room may be 140 feet long – twice the size of one discovered at the Ocmulgee Indian Mounds near Macon.

Langford says the earth lodges may have been central to Early Mississippians’ political life.

He says recent breakthroughs in ground-penetrating radar technology helped the group make the discovery.

“These technologies have improved so dramatically in the last few years that we are able to see things very quickly and easily that we could never see before or dreamed that we could see.”

The group plans another round of tests later this year.