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Toltec Mounds Archeological State Park

 

Toltec Mounds Archeological State Park is located just thirty minutes from downtown Little Rock in the midst of the Arkansas River Valley farmlands. This traditional Woodland to Mississippian site was occupied from approximately A.D. 700-950. The Toltec site had a small population, primarily consisting of the political and religious leaders of the community and their families. The site includes 18 mounds surrounded by an earthen embankment on three sides. The fourth side is bordered by an oxbow lake. Farming over the past 150 years has taken its toll on the Toltec site. Several of the mounds and much of the embankment have been damaged or destroyed. A map of the Toltec site is also available.

 

The name "Toltec" for the site is a mistake. Gilbert Knapp, owner of the site from 1857-1900, thought that these mounds were built by the Toltec Indians of Mexico. However, investigations by the Smithsonian Institution in 1883 proved that these mounds were built by ancestors of the American Indians. Research programs began at Toltec in 1966 and continue today. When funding is available, excavations are conducted on the site. In 1975, the site was purchased by the State of Arkansas to become a state park and in 1978 was designated a National Historic Landmark.

Toltec Mounds offers an interpretive center with an exhibit area, audio/visual programs, and a laboratory interpreting prehistoric life and archeology. All access to the site is via regularly scheduled guided tours led by trained archeological interpreters. The interpretive center and tour route are handicapped accessible. Group tours are available by advanced reservation. The sites have various programs and exhibits which appeal to both the casual and professional visitor.

Admission to the interpretive center is free or visitors can choose to tour the site for a small admission fee. The park is open Tuesday through Saturday, 8 a.m. through 5 p.m. and Sunday noon to 5 p.m . The park is closed on the following days: Mondays (except Memorial Day and Labor Day), New Years Day, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

Toltec Mounds is located at #1 Toltec Mounds Road in Scott, Arkansas. It is 16 miles southeast of North Little Rock and 9 miles northwest of England, Arkansas off U.S. Highway 165 on Arkansas Highway 386. Easy access from I40 interstate, take Exit 169 south on Arkansas Highway 15 for fourteen miles to Keo, then northeast on U.S. Highway 165 for four miles; or take Exit 7 (England) going southeast on U.S. Highway 165 for 10 miles. For more information call (501)961-9442.