The Winterville Mounds are off Highway 1 just north of Greenville, Mississippi. They are one of the largest remaining mound complexes in the SE USA. There were originally 211 mounds in this complex, which peaked 1000-1450 AD and was abandoned by the Mississipian people sometime between 1500 and 1600, apparently in the wake of the effects of epidemic diseases brought by Hernando de Soto’s entourage in 1539-1543. The Mississippians had a hierarchical agrarian society. Apparently the mounds were most often used as ceremonial sites or lodging for the ruling class, and sometimes for burials. The mounds were often built in stages over may years, with different buildings at each level.