Hancock County is an area of relatively high terrain, especially along the East Pearl River where Pleistocene period bluffs provide 20-30 feet of elevation. It is an also an area of diverse ecosystems, including riverine, wetlands, salt water marshes, open gulf and piney woods. Consequently, this region has been sought out by human occupants since the earliest arrival of people into the Western Hemisphere. The entire prehistoric sequence of cultures and periods as described for the general southeastern United States obtains in Hancock County. In addition, the county’s archaeological resources offer some very important and unique sites which will be discussed herein. These include: the Jackson Landing site, the Cedarland Plantation site, the Claiborne site and the Ancient Earthwork which is still the largest extant structure of its type along the northern Gulf of Mexico.