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The information and photos that follow are based on research or straight from our book
The Spiro Mound: A Photo Essay

I am not associated with the state park. If you are planning a trip to the site, visit their webpage, Spiro Mound State Park, for more information.

Thanks for visiting,

History of the site- features the first article we wrote on the Spiro Mounds. 
It has a basic description of how the Spiro Mound evolved over time, along with several illustrations of the stages of developement. 

Excavations- Several photos from the excavations, both the commerical dig as well as the WPA work.

Artifacts- A few photos from our book featuring some of the artifacts found at Spiro.





okhistory.org Encyclopedia Page


texasbeyondhistory.net-spiro mound


Selected Bibliography

The Spiro Mound: A Photo Essay
Photographs from the collection of Dr. Robert E. Bell
By Larry and Christopher Merriam

Colorful 8 1/2" X 11" Hardback Cover, 400 High Quality Glossy pages, 161 Full-Page B&W Photos, Hundreds of artifacts shown
To order your copy of The Spiro Mound: A Photo Essay Please visit

Brown, James A.
1976 Spiro Studies, Vol. 4. The Artifacts. Second Part of the Third Annual Report of Caddoan Archaeology-Spiro Focus Research. University of Oklahoma Research Institute, Norman, Oklahoma.

1996 The Spiro Ceremonial Center. The Archaeology of Arkansas Valley Caddoan Culture in Eastern Oklahoma. Memoir Number 29, Vol. 1 and Vol. 2. Museum of Anthropology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Burnett, E. K.
1945 The Spiro Mound Collection in the Museum. Contributions from the Museum of the American Indian, Heye Foundation, Vol. 14. New York, New York

Cherry, James
1985 Transcript of an interview with Walter Guinn Cooper, April 3.

Clements, Forrest E.
1945 Historical Sketch of the Spiro Mound. Contributions to the Museum of the American Indian, Heye Foundation, Vo. 14. New York, New York

Grimm, R. E., editor
1953 Prehistoric Art. Greater St. Louis Archaeological Society, St. Louis, Missouri.

Groves, G. I.
1936 The Northern American Indian Relic Collectors' Association Report on the Great Temple Mound in LeFlore County, Oklahoma. 
N. A. I. R. C. A. Official Bulletin, Vol. 1, Number 8, Chicago, Illinois.

Hamilton, Henry W.
1952 The Spiro Mound. Missouri Archaeologist, Vol. 14, Missouri Archaeological Society, Columbia, Missouri.

Hamilton, Henry W., Jean T. Hamilton, and Eleanor F. Chapman
1974 Spiro Mound Copper. Missouri Archaeologist, Memoir Number 11. Missouri Archaeological Society, Columbia, Missouri.

Hoffman, Michael P.
1985 Central Arkansas River Valley Antiquities Dealers in the 1920-1950 Era.
Paper given at the 1985 Annual Meeting of the Southern Anthropological Society, Fayetteville, Arkansas.

Hothem, Lar
1996 H. T. Daniel 1941 Catalog and Price List, reprint by Hothem House, Lancaster, Ohio.

2001 Indian Relics From the Catalogs of Old-Time Dealers, Hothem House, Lancaster, Ohio.

MacDonald, A. B.
1935 A "King Tut" Tomb in the Arkansas Valley. The Kansas City Star, December 14.

Phillips, Phillip, and James A. Brown
1978 Pre-Columbian Shell Engravings from the Craig Mound at Spiro, Oklahoma, Part 1. Peabody Museum Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts.

1984 Pre-Columbian Shell Engravings from the Craig Mound at Spiro, Oklahoma, Part 2. Peabody Museum Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Thoburn, Joseph B.
1931 The Prehistoric Culture of Oklahoma. In: Archaeology of the Arkansas River Valley, by Warren K. Moorehead, Phillips Academy, Andover, Massachusetts.

Biography Section

Dr. Robert E. Bell- First visited the mound in 1934 after graduating high school, took many photos at the site. Decided to become an archaeologist after seeing how much information was lost during the excavations. Spent the next 70 years studying Spiro.

Harry T. Bell- Robert Bell's father, an artifact collector from Marion, Ohio. He acquired many fine Spiro artifacts, that eventually went to Earl Townsend.

James Brown- Published the most comprehensive study on the Spiro Mounds.

Forrest E. Clements- Worked for the state as an archaeologist, wrote the first interpretation of the Spiro Mound.

Henry Hamilton- Authored two books on the Spiro Mound for the Missouri Archaeologist journal, the first comprehensive effort to record the artifacts that were recovered from the site.

Glen Groves- Collector/Dealer from Chicago, published the NAIRCA report on the Spiro Mound

Joseph Thoburn- First archaeologist to visit the site, conducted the first excavations near the mound in the Ward Mound.


Thanks for visiting,
Chris Merriam