Archaeology and Geology

The name of the creek is thought to be derived from the Choctaw term nan ikhana, meaning a seer or prophet. A probably assumption is that a Choctaw or Chickasaw prophet lived along the creek close to historic times. Occupation of the creek spans the last 10,000 years as evidence for Paleoindian hunters during the last Ice Age have been discovered along with over 100 prehistoric archaeological sites from every cultural period. The most well-known and visited archaeological site along Nonconnah is Chucalissa, a Mississippian Mound complex and favorite for numerous school groups. Native American use of the area largely diminished just prior to European contact as Henry DeSoto’s entrada in 1541 probably passed close by. Fort Assumption constructed by the French in 1739 solidified colonial interests in the region.
Deposits along Nonconnah Creek contain an amazingly well preserved record of both plants and animals during the height of the last Ice Age (25,000 years ago). Leaves, nuts, twigs, and entire logs of carbonized organic material have been used to reconstruct the ancient climate. The gravel bars along Nonconnah Creek also boast a diverse assemblage of rare and brilliant rock and mineral types. Agates, petrified wood, fossilized corals, and flint provide a rich geologic record that is enjoyed by many enthusiasts. Recently, the mineral vivianite was remarkably shown to grow in an incredibly short period of time among the Nonconnah Creek gravels.
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