Roughly 3,500 years ago, Native Americans built an earthwork complex over 400 acres in size, making it one of largest complexes of its kind in the Western Hemisphere. At Poverty Point World Heritage Site, groups can view this unique structure dating to 1700 B.C.

Located in Pioneer, Poverty Point is named for a mid-19th century plantation that existed on the site.

“Poverty Pont is truly one of a kind,” said Mark Brink, interpretive ranger at Poverty Point World Heritage Site. “Archeologists have been studying this site for over a hundred years. There is no other place like it on the planet.”

The site consists of five mounds — Mound A being one of the largest in North America — six massive, semi-elliptical artificial ridges, and a 43-acre central plaza.

With prior notice, groups can board a tram and take a ride through the grounds to experience this amazing site built by an advanced hunter-gatherer society still stunning archaeologists.

Poverty Point World Heritage Site
Credit: Poverty Point World Heritage Site

Park Rangers take groups on a 2-mile loop while explaining the different characteristics of the structure, with a Q&A session reserved for the end. Get a chance to experience Poverty Point up-close and request a hike up Mound A at the end of the tour.

In addition to tram rides, Poverty Point provides a film, time in the museum to view exhibits and an atlatl demonstration — a spear-throwing device used to hunt by the Native Americans of Poverty Point.

See artifacts and objects that point to how the peoples of Poverty Point lived, like intricate owl carvings, ceramic figurines, soapstone pendants and more.

“Poverty Point World Heritage Site offers the unique experience to see these ancient earthworks, learn a bit about those who constructed them and understand why this place is monumentally important,” Brink said. In addition to being a World Heritage Site, Poverty Point is a National Monument and a State Historic Site.

For more information on Poverty Point World Heritage Site call 318-926-5492 or go to