The First Peoples to 1518

Architecture in Mississippi: From Prehistoric to 1900

Theme and Time Period

The study of historic architectural styles provides us a unique way to learn how our ancestors lived and worked, how and what they built, and what they thought about themselves and their society as expressed in their buildings. Mississippi has a wide variety of architectural styles. Here is an overview of them.

Architecture in Mississippi Lesson Plan


Studying the architecture of the communities in our state can reveal new insights into our history and culture. Using examples of a log cabin and a more ornate Federal style house, students can easily draw conclusions about differences in ways of living. This lesson will encourage further investigation of a variety of architectural styles used throughout the state’s history and a consideration of how our buildings reflect who we are and the realities of our world from one time period to another.

The Geography of Mississippi

Theme and Time Period

Ask people to define “geography,” and most of them will initially say it is location — where a place is. The “where” is certainly central to geography, and with tools such as maps and global positioning technology, geography is the subject best equipped to address a question about location. However, a simple exercise will illustrate that geography is much more than just location.

Geography of Mississippi Lesson Plan


The geography of an area is what makes a location unique and distinguishes it from any other place. With its beaches, Spanish moss, magnolias, white-tailed deer, and the great Mississippi River, Mississippi is unique and rich in natural beauty. Along with this natural beauty, a distinct way of life that is rich in history and a culture deeply rooted in the diversity of its people can be found here in the Magnolia State. It is this human and physical geography that makes Mississippi distinguishable from the other forty-nine U.S. states.

Native Mississippi: Some New Perspectives

Theme and Time Period

Mound building

In recent years scientists have begun to reconsider some old assumptions about the earliest people in the New World. Perhaps the biggest revolution in archaeology has occurred because of research done in Louisiana. This research suggests that the earliest mounds and mound groups in the world were built in Louisiana and Mississippi during what is referred to as the Middle Archaic period (8000 to 4500 BP) by archaeologists. These dates predate the Great Wall of China, Stonehenge and the Egyptian pyramids.

Archaeology and Prehistoric Mississippi

Theme and Time Period

Virtually all that is known about the North American indigenous peoples before European contact comes from the discipline of archaeology. Archaeology is that branch of anthropology that investigates people's past by studying their material remains. Lacking written records, archaeologists could not give most of the prehistoric groups specific names. Therefore, archaeologists created names such as Paleo-Indian, Middle Woodland, Mississippian, Marksville, and Plaquemine to identify distinctive pre-contact Native American groups by culture and time of existence.