Books That Inspire 2008

Looting Spiro Mounds: An American King Tut's Tomb
David La Vere

Oklahoma’s Spiro Mounds were once the greatest repository of pre-Columbian artifacts north of Mexico. Located on the Canadian River only a few miles west of the Arkansas border, Spiro was a brilliant manifestation of Mississippean culture. The center traded with much of Southeastern North America, and the Spiro peoples buried huge caches of ceremonial objects with their dead chiefs. But in the 1930s looters dug up Spiro’s treasures and sold them by the side of the road like cantaloupes. The dedicated labor of a University of Oklahoma archaeologist managed to stop the looting, but only after vast amounts of Mississippean artifacts had disappeared forever. David La Vere’s fascinating and engagingly written book documents Oklahoma’s unique archaeological heritage. Looting Spiro Mounds: An American King Tut’s Tomb also reminds us of the importance of conserving the marvels of antiquity.

Terry L Rugeley
Department of History