Winter solstice walks are Dec. 22

SPIRO--Come to Spiro Mounds Archaeological Center Dec. 22 for guided walks to learn about the winter solstice and how prehistoric American Indians dealt with the changes in the seasons. Archaeologist and manager Dennis Peterson will lead guided tours starting at 11 a.m., 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Each walk will take about two hours and require a mile of easy walking. 

The pace of life today is so rushed and hectic that the natural rhythms of the sun, moon and stars are forgotten. American Indian farmers understood these rhythms. In the rhythm of the sun, the winter solstice is a period of rest, preparation and celebration. Peterson will tell about this unique, prehistoric American Indian mound site, the types of mounds, why they were created and why some of the mounds are lined up for the sunsets of the solstices and equinoxes. He will discuss the history of the excavations, American Indian ceremonies and stories and tales of the unusual happenings associated with the mounds. For those wishing to see the sunset, the 2 p.m. walk will end just before sunset, which is when the alignment will take place. Come out to experience one of the most unique historical sites in the United States as seen through the eyes of an archaeologist. 

There is a small fee for this series of tours of $5 for adults and $3 for children, in addition to the daily admission fee. No reservations are required except for large groups. Remember cash or check only, no credit cards. Be certain to dress for the weather. 

Spiro Mounds Archaeological Center is the only prehistoric American Indian site open to the public in Oklahoma and is a division of the Oklahoma Historical Society. The center is open Wednesday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sunday from noon to 5 p.m., and is closed for state holidays. Daily admission is $7 for adults, $5 for seniors, $4 for children older than six and $18 for a family. The center is located three miles east of Spiro on Highway 9/271 and four miles north on Lock and Dam Road. For more information or to schedule a group or school tour during the solstice walks or another time, please call 918-962-2062 or email spiro@okhistory.org. 

The mission of the Oklahoma Historical Society is to collect, preserve and share the history and culture of the state of Oklahoma and its people. Founded in 1893 by members of the Territorial Press Association, the OHS maintains museums, historic sites and affiliates across the state. Through its research archives, exhibits, educational programs and publications the OHS chronicles the rich history of Oklahoma. For more information about the OHS, please visit www.okhistory.org.


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