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Parks and Museums: Letchworth-Love Mounds

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While Florida Natives built hundreds of earth mounds in Florida, the tallest one is at Letchworth-Love Mounds Archaeological State Park near Monticello.

At 46 feet tall and 300 feet wide, this mound towers over 10 mounds and is one of Florida’s oldest, built between 1,100 and 1,800 years ago. This mound center was one of only three contemporaneous mound complexes in north Florida. The large mound had two side platforms, an earth ramp to the summit, and a flat top. It was made of earth mixed with shells and encased in clay and built by hand, one basket load at a time.

The Letchworth mound center must have been a regional capital for the social, political, and religious leaders who lived there and presided over ceremonies, rituals, and games that took place.

There is a network of pleasant trails throughout the park with many interpretive signs along the way that explain the site and what took place there so long ago. There is also a covered interpretation area with interesting panels, showing how the mound was built. Getting to the park is easy, as it is located just off Interstate 10, Exit 217.

Rendering of the building of the largest mound at Letchworth-Love Mounds Archaeological State Park.
Rendering of the building of the largest mound at Letchworth-Love Mounds Archaeological State Park.
Part of the trail at Letchworth-Love Mounds.
Part of the trail at Letchworth-Love Mounds.

Unearthing Florida is a project of WUWF Public Media, the Florida Public Archaeology Network(FPAN), and its founder, Dr. Judith Bense, since 1998. FPAN's Michael Thomin is a contributor to the program. WUWF's Sandra Averhart is the executive producer.

Dr. Judy Bense is President Emeritus and Professor of Anthropology/Archaeology at UWF.