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The mounds site, located seven miles outside of Spiro, Oklahoma, is the only prehistoric, Native American archaeological site in Oklahoma open to the public. The mounds are one of the most important Native American sites in the nation. The prehistoric Spiro people created a sophisticated culture which influenced the entire Southeast. Artifacts indicate an extensive trade network, a highly developed religious center, and a political system, which controlled the entire region. Located on a bend of the Arkansas River, the site was a natural gateway from which the Spiro people exerted their influence. Yet much of the Spiro culture is still a mystery, as well as the reasons for the decline and abandonment of the site.