Lake Jackson Archaeological State Park, Leon County, FL 2011

The borrow pit


Consider the will, the shared purpose of the people living near the southern rim of Lake Jackson around 1200 AD. Their borrow pit, a gaping excavated hole, shows in reverse the scale of their earth-moving. The biggest ceremonial mound, still visible, covers 24,000 square feet.

A day’s walk to the east, just south of Lake Miccosukee, an earlier culture also moved earth to approach heaven. Their great flat-topped pyramid is 46 feet tall; with no wheels, no pack animals, and no metal tools, they made something like seven million trips, bearing tribute one basketful at a time.

They set their intention, as the Buddhists say, and made it manifest.

Next: Mound Key, Lee County, FL, 2011