Thoughts and pictures of an ancient landscape
It's an ancient land. Stream waters still circle the village, but it's a village where no one builds huts or cooking fires anymore. The mound stands less tall and less proud than before, covered with weeds and shot through with the roots of tall trees now.
Walking along the stream bed in blue hour, we hear the rhythm of the gravel, muscle shells, and arrowheads crunching under foot, and the serenade of cicadas from the swaying treetops that catch the last orange light of day.
Was that a faint voice in another language? Do the spirits welcome me as friend or foe? Spiderwebs catch my face as I walk among the woods.
History stacks on top of itself, layers of life with clues left behind. Chipped flint held by the very hand of a man 1,000 years older than my grandfather, but just as far gone from me. It's hard to imagine the people were here.
Black and white landscape photographs of a beautiful stream that surrounds the site of an ancient Native American village
This languid stream circles the site of an ancient village just a half-hour drive and 1,000 years from downtown Nashville, Tennessee. People lived on the land there for at least 300 years, with the remnants of ancient mounds left as a testimony to their existence. They were among the last of the Woodland culture, which ended with the arrival of Europeans.
The people would have used this water for drinking and bathing. They would have fished in this water, and harvested freshwater muscles. Without the stream, there could be no life on this place.
Maybe it's just a trick of the imagination, but this poignant landscape seems to resonate with their still present spirit.
Summer at Spring Creek: Black and white landscape photograph by Keith Dotson. Click to buy a print.
Roots and Rocks at Creekside: Black and white photograph by Keith Dotson. Click to buy a fine art print.
Late Summer Sunlight on a Languid Creek: Black and white photograph by Keith Dotson. Click to buy a fine art print of this photograph.
Morning Light Catching the Strands of a Spider Web: Black and white photograph by Keith Dotson. Click to buy this photograph.