Can you believe that little bitty Ozan in Hempstead County, Arkansas is one of the southwest's oldest settlements? And one of its oldest cemeteries? And that the artifacts recovered from this settlement now reside in New York City and in private collections all across the United States?
Along North Ozan creek stand six mounds, built and used by the Caddos at least 800 years years prior. In 1918, archeologists from the Museum of the American Indian uncovered rectangular foundations of structures on the mounds that still showed evidence of green paint on the stucco walls, with altars and hearths on the short sides of the building. Forty-three burials that included 198 "earthenware pots, bowls, and bottles" were excavated, as well as pipes, crystals, jewelry and arrowheads, indicating that the site was ceremonial in nature. The mounds were graveyards that formed the center of villages, with the rectangular buildings situated on the mounds used for ceremonial purposes. The Caddos burned the buildings, buried them, and then erected new ones on top of the older structures over and over again for a period of at least 400 years.
Ozan in Hempstead County, Arkansas is a true City of the Dead, a place that was connected to the Battle Mound village along the Red River in Lafayette County. More information will be coming shortly!