Close

Keith Dotson | Catching Shadows

THE OFFICIAL BLOG OF FINE ART PHOTOGRAPHER KEITH DOTSON

[Video] Landscape photography at an ancient Native American mound site

[Video] Landscape photography at an ancient Native American mound site

Photographing the landscape at Sellars Farm Archaeological Site

I recently took a short drive down a country road not far from Nashville, but 1,000 years into the past. In nearby Lebanon, Tennessee, tucked out of sight behind a ring of trees, in the midst of ordinary farm fields, is the site of a pre-Columbian Native American village with a 1,000-year-old mound. A village existed on the location for at least 300 years, longer than the existence of the US.

I’ve been to a lot of ancient sites, from Tulum to the effigy mounds of Wisconsin, and I’ve noticed that the ancient peoples had a knack for picking practical but also beautiful — sometimes even spectacular — locations. Sellars Farm Archaeological Site is a flat plateau surrounded by forests and Spring Creek. The natives were able to grow crops, hunt wild game, fish, and gather freshwater mussels. They were successful enough to afford the vast labor involved with building the mounds, while also developing a high-level of artistic skill.

Mississippian stone statue nicknamed "Sandy," excavated from the Sellars Farm site. Photograph by Photo by David H. Dye.
Mississippian stone statue nicknamed “Sandy,” excavated from the Sellars Farm site. Photograph by Photo by David H. Dye.

A carved siltstone sculpture nicknamed “Sandy,” which has appeared on postage stamps and been named the state artifact of Tennessee, was excavated from the site. It illustrates the high-degree of culture developed during the Mississippian culture.

Mound at Sellars Farm Archaeological Site
Mound at Sellars Farm Archaeological Site

In this video, you’ll walk with me to see the 1,000-year-old mound, photographing the river bed and terrain along the way. Black and white landscape photographs begin at 15:51.

Black and white photographs of the landscape at Sellars Farm Archaeological Site

Late summer sunlight on a languid creek, black and white photograph by Keith Dotson.
Late summer sunlight on a languid creek, black and white photograph by Keith Dotson.
Spring Creek, black and white photograph by Keith Dotson
Spring Creek, black and white photograph by Keith Dotson
Morning landscape with dew drops, a black and white landscape photograph by Keith Dotson
Morning landscape with dew drops, a black and white landscape photograph by Keith Dotson
Spider web catching morning sun, a black and white photograph by Keith Dotson
Spider web catching morning sun, a black and white photograph by Keith Dotson
Where the ancients drank, a black and white photograph by Keith Dotson
Where the ancients drank, a black and white photograph by Keith Dotson

Tick protection

If you watched the video, you know I encountered an incredible number of spider webs across the path. I wasn’t too worried about those, other than the annoyance of picking the strands out of my whiskers.

But I do worry about ticks. Lyme’s disease is no joke. I’ve been using a permethrin product, and so far, knock-on-wood, I’ve come back from my hikes tick-free. I spray it on my pants and boots, but avoid spraying it on skin.

I’ve been using a product by Repel. Amazon carries this one.

Don't forget your tick protection, if you plan to go hiking. I use a Repel product. Amazon carries a similar one. Click to go there.
Don’t forget your tick protection, if you plan to go hiking. I use a Repel product. Amazon carries a similar one. Click to go there.

Learn more about Sellars Farm Archaeological Site

Thanks for reading!

Be sure to visit me on FacebookYouTubePinterest, or on my website at keithdotson.com.

~ Keith

This post contains an Amazon affiliate link.

Leave a Reply

Close