We are hanging out on old Route 66 between Tulsa and Oklahoma City enjoying the warmth of the early fall as it is about 30 degrees warmer here than it is at home.
Bucket List item #149 see Spiro Mounds and the Oklahoma Runestones (yes they have at least 4), so being a bit of a rainy day, we decided to take the drive to almost Arkansas to knock off this item.
Spiro Mounds is a rather odd mound, reportedly built over a rock cairn just like those in most of the European countries and it is also weird in that there are reports that a full armored man was found buried there, reports are the key word. Nobody really knows for sure
In one of the saddest deals ever, just about as bad as the breaking into the museum a decade ago in Kentucky, between 1933 and 1935, Craig Mound was excavated by a mining enterprise that had bought the rights from local landowners to excavate and to keep or sell the artifacts they recovered. Tunneling into the mound and breaking through the Great Mortuary's log wall, they found many human burials, together with their associated grave goods. They discarded the human remains and the fragile artifacts—made of textile, basketry, and even feathers—that were preserved in these extremely unusual conditions. Most of these rare and historically priceless objects disintegrated before scholars could reach the site, although some were sold to collectors. When the commercial excavators finished, they dynamited the burial chamber and sold the commercially valuable artifacts, made of stone, pottery, copper, and conch shell, to collectors in the United States and overseas. Most of these valuable objects are probably lost, but some have been returned through donation and documented by scholars. The ones returned are reportedly beyond amazing.
I had to see the place.
So we drove three hours and then to the front gate and we were confronted by this...
We walked the dog.
I had a back up spot...
So we drove down to Heavener to see the runestone. Found in a gully on a huge rock over a century ago, this runestone has caused controversy. Was it real? It seems like an odd hoax.
It means "The Valley of Glome" a marker rune for property. This is from a much older Futhark than the Kensington Stone from Minnesota and I could go on about how Europeans could have got here hundreds of years before Columbus, but I won't.
I would have liked to stop at the gift shop and the interpretive center, but they are closed on Thursday, and it was...Thursday.
They have found other runestones...these are listed as housed at the Kerr Museum nearby, they just have a replica of the Poteau Stone here, found three mountains north.