By David La Vere
The Spiro Mounds contained essentially the most awesome pre-Columbian Indian artwork ever discovered, all piled atop countless numbers of human skeletons. In Looting Spiro Mounds, David los angeles Vere takes readers at the back of the scenes to re-create an excellent Depression-era archaeological event precious of Indiana Jones. l. a. Vere weaves a compelling tale of grave robbers and misplaced treasures as he items jointly the puzzle of the civilization that thrived at Spiro from A.D. 800 to 1450. He reconstructs this significant Mississippian chiefdom and the lives of the priest-chiefs who have been buried there. He additionally plumbs the secret of why the folk of Spiro deserted the positioning, abandoning their treasures yet no forwarding handle.
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Extra info for Looting Spiro Mounds: An American King Tut's Tomb
Anyway, he was seen as something like the money man behind the mining company. So Guinn Cooper was designated site manager, living on the property and guarding whatever they found. He, along with John Hobbs, Jim Vandagriff, and Kimball McKenzie, would chop brush and dig. Even then, they needed more hands, so Will Vandagriff, Jim’s brother, came down to work. 27 Making it all the more difficult was that everything had to be done by hand. Whether they couldn’t afford a bulldozer or couldn’t get one back there, the excavators used only picks and shovels.
Only when peace returned did the war chief step down and the “peace” chief, the town’s regular leader, take back 28 LOOTING SPIRO MOUNDS his position of authority. Also, fearless warriors with several victories under their belts were highly respected, and their words were considered worth hearing. Commanding similar respect were older men, particularly older men who had once been successful warriors or medicine men. The chief often sought their advice. The town also had a priest, maybe several of them, who handled the religious duties of the population.
Had they known the commotion they’d cause, maybe they would have taken better notice. Guinn Cooper later said that it was his and Jim Vandagriff’s idea, and it all had started with a gold-prospecting operation gone bad. Cooper outlived everyone and was the only one who ever talked about it at length, so his story is the one that takes. It was the summer of 1933, and the heat and the Great Depression seemed to be making themselves right at home in these parts of Oklahoma and Arkansas. The new president, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, vowed to wage war on the Depression, but there were few jobs out here and not many ways to feed a family or even get by.