Wilburton Junior GEAR UP students recently visited Spiro Mounds Archaeological Center in Spiro, OK. Upon arrival, students were given an introductory program about the Mississippian people by Center Director Anna Vincent. Afterward, students broke up into groups and walked the nearly two miles of interpreted trails where they saw the Craig Mound, which was the burial mound of the Spiro people. They also saw a reconstructed house showing how the early people used river cane, grass, and clay to construct their family homes. Students also toured the museum, seeing artifacts such as pottery, weaponry, ceremonial items, and jewelry. The mounds site is the only prehistoric American Indian archaeological site in Oklahoma open to the public and is one of the most influential American Indian sites in the nation.
The field trip was sponsored by Eastern Oklahoma State College GEAR UP. Eastern received a $17 million federal GEAR UP grant in 2017 and will serve over 3,000 students in 39 area schools for seven years.