Fort Walton Culture

The Fort Walton culture, like the other mound building Mississippian cultures it is related to, was a highly stratified society. The Indian Temple Mound was probably the center or “capital” of a large area ruled by a powerful chief. This chief would have lived in a dwelling on top of the mound while other members of the ruling family or kin group resided nearby. As the platform for the chief’s residence during life, and the tomb for preceding chiefs, family members, and sacrificial victims, the mound was both an expression of power and control, and a vital component of religious ceremony.

In this complex culture, the chief commanded complete obedience from his subjects, whether higher status individuals living in the capital city, lower status village chiefs and their subjects living in outlying villages, or small householders scattered around the countryside. This obedience included providing agricultural labor for fields controlled by the chiefs, construction labor for civic and religious structures (it is estimated that over 200,000 baskets of earth were required to build the Temple Mound), and taking part in warfare.

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