Ortona Serpent Mound, Glades County, Florida, US

Ortona's serpent mound helps us question serpent mound narratives. Thu 10 February 2022

Ortona serpent mound. Source

Amazingly, Ortona serpent mound was only discovered in 1930.

Ortona serpent mound surfaces several problems with serpent mounds generally. We'll have a look at its problems after we've familiarised ourselves with Ortona serpent mound itself.

Ortona serpent mound is part of a mound complex. Source: Snake Effigy, Serpent Mound(s) & The Heavens

As usual with serpent mounds, speculation about its purpose favoursthe astronomical over the gastronomical:

Does it represent serpens caput? Source: Snake Effigy, Serpent Mound(s) & The Heavens

Speculation also focuses on Mayan symbology and goddess worship:

Mounds of the moon goddess. Source

Here's a discussion of Ortona serpent mound's wider site and its resemblance to central American (Mayan) symbolism. However, it's also possible that the various curved banks allow spectators to oversee various aspects of butchery and food-preparation.

Like the serpent mounds at Grimsby, England, and Loch Nell and Skelmorlie in Scotland, Ortona serpent mound seems to lead from - or to - nearby water:

Serpent-shaped linear mound leading from/to water. Source

Analysis of Ortona serpent mound symbology links it to Mayan activities rather than British post-colonial activities:

Ortona's Sceptor Mound complex. Source

Ortona's Sceptor Pond. Mayan symbolism. Source

That's all very mystical. But it's not only interpetations of the symbolism of Ortona serpent mound that vary. Drawings of its shape also vary. This Lost World article does a good job showing how Ortona's serpent mound changes depending on who is drawing it.

Like Ohio serpent mound, Ortona serpent mound may have had its head area reshaped around discovery-time. It's not certain but the possibility is highlighted by comparing plans of the mound:

Ortona serpent mound as depicted on discovery in 1930. Source

Ortona serpent mound as depicted on a 1989 display board. Source

Are there four segments of serpent or three segments, one of them curved?

Ortona serpent mound as mapped by archaeologists in 1991. Source

But nine years later, it Ortona serpent mound's curved neck appears to have become two segments of a four segment serpent:

Ortona serpent mound as depicted by archaeologists in 2000. Source

Twenty years later, it was being modelled with just three segments:

Ortona serpent mound's depiction changed again by 2020. Source

Ortona serpent mound surfaces several problems with the ancient serpent mound narrative:

  • Ortona serpent mound disappears from aerial survey in 1949 and a map in 1950. It reappears in 1989 on a display board at the opening of Ortona Indian Mounds park. With a new segment and the apparent addition of an 'egg' mound - like the egg mound at Ohio.
  • The build style of its long mound is reminiscent of Grimsby serpent mound's Holme Hill mound structure.
  • The first recorded appearance of Ortona's serpent mound complex is in 1930 - despite Florida being one of the earliest parts of the US to be explored and documented by Europeans.

Perhaps Ortona serpent mound came out of a similiar culture as the Ohio serpent mound.

Perhaps it came out of same cultural milieu as the British serpent mounds.

Perhaps it was invented for the benefit of tourists.

Clips were taken from this Youtube video. Source: Ortona Mound Site ~ Snake Effigy, Serpent Mound(s) & The Heavens

More like this:

Indian Mounds Park, Glades County

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