added by archaeologs A site in eastern Oklahoma of the Mississippian Tradition (Middle Mississippi) Caddo culture beginning in the 8th century AD as a village of one-room houses, and by 950 had reached its maximum extent with the addition of eight burial mounds. The eight mounds are of various sizes and one served as a temple mound and burial mound (Craig Mound). In about 1200, Spiro was abandoned as a settlement and became a specialized mortuary and temple complex. To this final period, 1350-1400, belongs the enormous Craig Mound, covering an intact wooden mortuary house. Commoners and servants received only simple burial, but the ruling elite were placed in funerary litters filled with weapons, fabrics, smoking pipes, imported minerals, and copper, and shell ornaments decorated with designs of the Southeastern Ceremonial Complex (Southern Cult). Because of its abundance of paraphernalia of the Southern Cult, it is often linked to the centers at Etoway and Moundville, even though it is culturally distinct from them. Many of designs on carved shell gorgets and embossed sheet copper ornaments probably came from Mesoamerica, perhaps from Huastec culture of Veracruz. The site's archaeological value has been considerably diminished, as it was heavily vandalized during a period of commercial exploitation in the 1930s.
added by archaeologs A major ceremonial centre of the Caddoan subculture of the Mississippian tradition, the climax of which was cl 3501400. Because of its abundance of paraphernalia of the Southern Cult, it is often linked to the centres at Etowah and Moundville, even though it is culturally distinct from them. The site comprised a village and eight mounds, the largest of which had been used for burials as well as a temple platform. Unfortunately its archaeological value has been considerably diminished, since it was heavily vandalized during a period of commercial exploitation in the 1930s.
The Macmillan dictionary of archaeology, Ruth D. Whitehouse, 1983