DeSoto Caverns Family Fun Park
Native American Burial Ground
2,000 year old Woodland burial ground
A Woodland Indian burial called a "Copena" burial site can be seen in DeSoto Caverns. The word "Copena" comes from the first three letters of copper and the last three letters of galena, two materials commonly found in these burials. Typically, more than one body fills the mound pit along with such burial offerings as a leaf-shaped
stone spear point (called a Copena point).
Prior to a typical Copena burial, the Indians placed their dead out on racks in the sun to dry and decay. Birds would eat away the flesh after which the Indians would gather up the bones and carry them in a sack to their ancestral cave. Here, they would cover the sack with clay and bury it in the earth. The Indians believed it was important that each dead person's spirit have the use of his or her limbs, hands, etc., to get around in the afterlife. ...