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"A Grown Man Does That and Gets Paid for It"

Poverty Point

Haag’s work at Poverty Point in north Louisiana began in the mid 1950s. He described the site as “a great circular earthworks consisting of six concentric ridges, the outermost one three quarters of a mile across . . . it’s obviously a solstice earthworks for signaling certain kinds of activities . . . I personally think it [was] a center for trade.” Today, Poverty Point is part of the Louisiana State Park system.

Poverty Point is now an internationally known site. One time I gave a talk somewhere about Poverty Point, and I used the expression that it is the American Stonehenge. I meant by that, here’s a big, giant circle, it’s obviously got something to do with astronomical observations. But it wasn’t any time before I had a phone call from BBC in London saying “Hey, what about this site?” So I told them all about it. Finally the caller says, “Now, what is the relation of that to Stonehenge?” And I said “Oh, there’s no relationship. It’s just circular; we know it was astronomically oriented…” — “Well thank you professor.” Bam! [laughs] It’s not related to anything that we’ve been able to find.

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