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Murphy Mound Archeological Site
23 PM 43
Murphy Mound near Caruthersville.jpg
View from the south
Murphy Mound Archeological Site23 PM 43 is located in Missouri
Murphy Mound Archeological Site23 PM 43
Murphy Mound Archeological Site
23 PM 43
Coordinates 36°9′10″N 89°41′40″W / 36.15278°N 89.69444°W / 36.15278; -89.69444
Country  USA
Region Pemiscot County, Missouri
Nearest town Caruthersville, Missouri
Culture Middle Mississippian culture
First occupied 1350 CE
Period Late Mississippian period
Abandoned 1541 CE
Excavation and maintenance
Responsible body Private
Architectural styles platform mound
Number of monuments
Murphy Mound Archeological Site
Governing body Private
NRHP Reference # 69000119
Added to NRHP May 21, 1969[1]

The Murphy Mound Archeological Site (23 PM 43), is a prehistoric archaeological site in the Bootheel region of the U.S. state of Missouri. Located southwest of Caruthersville in Pemiscot County, Missouri[2]:302 the site was occupied by peoples of the Late Mississippian period, centuries before European colonization of the area.[3]

Conclusive dates for the site's occupation have not been determined; one survey concluded that occupation began around 1200 CE and continued until at least 1400.[2]:314 A study of the site's pottery held that the location was inhabited from approximately 1350 until 1541.[3] The platform mound, now overgrown with trees, may be the largest of any Mississippian culture site in Missouri. It is located on private land and is not open to the public.[3] A selection of the pots is displayed at the University of Missouri Museum of Anthropology.

Excavation at the site's cemetery has revealed ninety-one skeletons. These were buried in numerous fashions, including bundle burials, bodies fully extended, and cremations.[2]:314 In 1969, Murphy was listed on the National Register of Historic Places; it was the first site in Pemiscot County to be listed on the NRHP.[1]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2010-07-09. 
  2. ^ a b c Greenlee, Diana M. (1998). "Prehistoric Diet in the Central Mississippi River Valley". In O'Brien, Michael J.; Dunnell, Robert C. Changing Perspectives on the Archaeology of the Central Mississippi Valley. Tuscaloosa and London: University of Alabama Press. 
  3. ^ a b c "Murphy Site, 23PM43". 2009. Retrieved 2010-01-01. 

Further reading[edit]

  • O'Brien, Michael J. (1994) Cat Monsters and Head Pots. University of Missouri Press, Columbia.
  • O'Brien, Michael J. and Robert C. Dunnell. (1998) 1998 Changing Perspectives on the Archaeology of the Central Mississippi Valley. University of Missouri Press, Columbia.

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