MDAH identifies, registers, protects and distributes information about archaeological sites in Mississippi. The state of Mississippi is rich in archaeological resources—evidence left by various cultures over 12,000 years. Archaeological sites have been reported in all 82 counties, and have a wide range, including prehistoric scatters of stone tools and/or pottery, temporary camps, villages, single and multiple mound sites, fishweirs, colonial houses and forts, shipwrecks, abandoned cemeteries, farmsteads, towns and industrial sites.
Some of Mississippi’s archaeological sites are easily recognized, like the hundreds of earthen mound sites that dot the state. The casual observer, however, does not easily notice most sites. The very nature of archaeological sites is that most of what is important about them is buried and therefore hidden. Because many of these important archaeological resources are not recognized, they are destroyed by development, agriculture or vandals.