The Snake Mound is a landmark in the Republic of Benin. Gabriel was taken to the site in a jeep by his driver Béhanzie.


The snake mound is located in the Red Basin valley in the present day Republic of Benin, 50 miles south of the border to Burkina Faso and 30 miles northeast of Natitingou. It is built in the center of a brown, dusty valley with dried grass, surrounded by low, mounded hills. A narrow winding river cuts a path to the south.

It was built by ancient sun worshippers to house a mysterious powerful idol. Apparently it kept its powers at bay, stopped the storms and the sun shone.

When Tetelo died, her bones were buried in the alter, with the Talisman, to empower her loa. The idol was removed and taken to the hounfour of New Orleans.

Unlike the snake mounds of North America, this is a double snake mound. It is considered the most fascinating archaeological site related to that culture.

The local people regard the mound with fear, and won't go near it. Combined with stringent Government regulations, the interior remains largely unchanged from ancient times, although archaeologists have explored the mound site.


One edge of the outer ring has an entrance. It has 12 rooms, each with a hole and a golem guarding the structure. Each room is assigned a number, indicated by a pattern of snakes on a panel. In all but in rooms 4 and 7, the tiles had fell. The room at 3 o'clock has a mechanism, triggered by a snake rod, that opens the door behind the sun mural in the room at 7 o'clock. This mechanism also springs a trap that animates the golems.

The outer wheel surrounds the interior ring, an earthen domed structure. The inner and outer structures are connected by six evenly narrow straight hallways, resembling spokes of a wheel. All but one are fake and only one (the one in room 7) gives access from the inner dome.

The dome housed an ancient temple. Torches are evenly spaced along the wall, and a rack with two metal bars. A blood altar occupies the center of the room, which opens with a mechanism "oiled" by blood. The idol, and then Tetelo's remains, were put there.

Gabriel Knight noticed that the pattern of the double snake mound reappeared in the pattern of the veve and the hounfours. His nightmare also features two circles of fire, one inside the other. The room with the "three snakes" that opens the door, resembles the mechanism in Heinz Ritter's clock.

See alsoEdit

Behind the scenesEdit

The novel in particular has a very detailed description of the mound and surrounding areas. It replaces the Mummies with Golem's instead. This article reflects the details given in the novel.

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