Poverty Point, USA – The Only City In The World Built by Hunter-Gatherers
Contrary to popular belief, Native Indians from North America didn’t live just in tepees. That was mostly the case when they followed a more nomadic lifestyle, which incidentally was mostly during the European colonization. Before however, things were a bit different. One such example is Cahokia, the largest Native American city on the northern continent around 1150 AD. However, one of the most interesting settlements belonging to the people living here is Poverty Point.
The Poverty Point site in northern Louisiana is unique in the world as being the only permanent settlement to be built by a hunter-gatherer society. Usually, agriculture and animal husbandry are at the base of any settlement, but this was not the case for Poverty Point, which was founded almost 4000 years ago in 1730 BC. This was no ordinary or temporary village either, but rather a city covering 4 sq. miles and lasting more than 500 years.
Moreover, it was built after a master plan and used advanced engineering techniques which would not be duplicated for thousands of years. The city was formed on six concentric earthen embankments which prevented erosion and carried away waste, keeping the homes on top of them clean. The embankments were crossed by five aisles which made for easy access. At the center was a major plaza, while way in the back, behind the embankments, a huge earth mound was built. There was even a ball court present at the edge of the city, along with four another, smaller mounds at the corners of the settlement.
Located at the edge of the Mississippi River’s Delta, the people caught fish, hunted deer and other wild animals, and foraged for wild fruits and plants for their food. Nothing that out of the ordinary here, but they did however rely on trade which, given the period, is amazing. Objects have been uncovered at Poverty Point, which were manufactured thousands of miles away.