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We often learn about the history of the area where we live, but we can’t really take ourselves back to the time that history represents. The Ka-Do-Ha Indian Village in Murfreesboro, Arkansas offers visitors the chance to step back and learn about the ancient civilization of the Mound Builders. These Native Americans, called the Kadohadacho, have a fascinating history in the state and were discovered just over a half-century ago! My children and I came to this village to see a preserved archeological site, take part in interactive activities and visit the exhibits within the museum of evidence left behind by this prehistoric culture.
The Kadohadacho tribe has been traced back to 1000 A.D. Their territory included Southwest Arkansas from the waters of the Ouachita to the Big Bend in the Red River. Glen Kizzia, an amateur archeologist discovered the Ka-Do-Ha site in 1964. By examining the mounds and artifacts, replicated by plastic castings, we can learn about the ancient people who once walked the same land we share today.
We took our walk over part of that land. After going through the Historic Trading Post, my children were most excited to make it to the dig field. Here we sifted through the dirt for arrowheads and crystals. It was a rather muddy adventure my children didn’t mind one bit. Workers provided a small shovel for each person along with a plastic bag for finds. Visitors to the dig field can also choose to bring small buckets to collect treasures.
We could take a rest on the benches under the trees and rinse off our discoveries (and ourselves) at a station. My children quickly took off their water shoes, because mud is too enjoyable to resist. In ten minutes, we found our first arrowhead. Throughout our afternoon, we also found many smaller crystals.
After our archeological dig on a warm day, we headed back into the Trading Post for the cool air and museum exhibits. Native American crafts and souvenirs filled the space, along with modern replicas and historic and prehistoric pieces. Many of the fine pottery pieces made by the Kadohadacho people survived intact and are on display. We saw other artifacts: an array of arrowheads, needles, fishhooks, beads and hairpins. Pottery has always been an interest of mine and I was amazed to see the intricate artwork. How did they form such pieces without a pottery wheel and with such attention to detail?
After another dig in the fields, we headed to check out the mounds recreated to show the original discovery. One mound was for a chief. Alongside were his personal effects, pipes, water bottles, food bowls and zoomorphic pottery – pieces that contribute to our understanding of how this ancient civilization lived.
We didn’t take part in panning for gems, an activity my older children would have loved, or in the treasure hunt opportunity, complete with metal detectors. But we did have a great afternoon learning about the ancient Kadohadacho People who called this area of Arkansas home. As a token of our adventure and education, each child came home with a bag of treasures and at least one arrowhead.
People from all over travel to Murfreesboro each year to enjoy new treasures at the village. Join the crowd in an archeological experience of history and education at The Ka-Do-Ha Indian Village. It’s about as close to a step back in time as we can get.
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