Ancient Louisiana Earthworks Nominated for World Heritage Site

With six vast ridges arcing more than a half-mile, the Poverty Point prehistoric site in Louisiana is one of a kind.

A bird-shaped mound at Poverty Point in Louisiana, nominated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The massive earthworks has now been nominated to become a UNESCO World Heritage Site because of its cultural significance.

World Heritage listing is a prestigious designation that acknowledges the historical, cultural or natural value of a site and signals the U.S. commitment to its long-term protection and management, according to a release from the U.S. Department of the Interior.

Built on a Mississippi River bayou between 1700 B.C. and 1100 B.C., Poverty Point is a giant earthen monument constructed by the local hunter-gatherers of the Poverty Point culture. It consists of six enormous, concentric earthen ridges and several large mounds, including one of the largest in North America. The five aisles and six sections of ridges form a partial octagon, and archeologists think the ridges, once 5 feet (1.5 meters) high, were foundations for dwellings. Scientists are still puzzling out the purpose of the earthworks.

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