Native Americans of East TN

NATIVE AMERICAN LIFE_3As the result of an archaeological excavation, required as part of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, due to a road-widening project on Highway 321 through Tuckaleechee Cove, the ground work for what would eventually become the Great Smoky Mountains Heritage Center was laid when archaeologists discovered tens of thousands of artifacts left behind by inhabitants and civilizations that once called East TN home.

Many of these artifacts included items that were used by the Cherokee people in their daily lives. Inside the main building, you can trace the history of Tuckaleechee Cove; beginning with those Native Americans from 5,000 years back through the Pre-Cherokee and Cherokee eras and the Euro-American period. Tools, ceremonial masks, housing, cooking utensils, plants, furniture, medicine and more are featured, along with interactive videos on such topics as Cherokee games and pottery making.