Winterville Mounds, named for a nearby community, is the site of a prehistoric ceremonial center built by a Native American civilization that thrived from about A.D. 1000 to 1450. The mounds, part of the Winterville society's religious system, were the site of sacred structures and ceremonies. Archaeological evidence indicates that the Winterville people lived away from the mound center on family farms in scattered settlement districts throughout the Yazoo-Mississippi River Delta basin. Only a few of the highest-ranking tribal officials lived at the mound center.
The Winterville ceremonial center originally contained at least twenty-three mounds. Some of the mounds located outside the park boundaries have been leveled by highway construction and farming. Twelve of the site's largest mounds, including the 55-foot-high Temple Mound, are currently the focus of a long-range preservation plan being developed by the Mississippi Department of Archives and History and the University of Mississippi's Center for Archaeological Research.