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Moundville in Hale County, Alabama — The American South (East South Central)
 

Moundville Archaeological Park

Moundville Archaeological Park

 
 
Moundville Archaeological Park Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Mark Hilton, January 19, 2020
1. Moundville Archaeological Park Marker
Inscription.  Welcome to Moundville Archaeological Park, the best preserved site of its kind in North America. At its height, Moundville was the largest and most powerful political and religious center in the Southeast. Nobles at Moundville ruled over thousands of people, harnessing their manpower to build these mounds and fostering a thriving economy based on corn agriculture.

Native Americans have lived in Alabama for more than 10,000 years. For most of that time they were skilled nomadic hunters and gatherers. With the rise of large scale corn agriculture around AD 800, however, Southeastern Indians began settling in large villages and a rich and complex culture arose. Archaeologists call these people Mississippians because their culture originated in the Mississippi River Valley, spreading outward to sites like Moundville.

Eight hundred years ago, Moundville was an impressive sight. More than 1,000 people lived within a mud-plastered, wooden wall studded with guard towers that surrounded the city on three sides. A high bluff on the Black Warrior River formed the site's northern boundary. Between AD 1200 and 1250, the Moundville people

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erected at least 29 earthen Pyramidal mounds in a roughly rectangular pattern around a large central plaza. Ruling families used the mounds in pairs - a larger mound served as the platform for a noble's residence while a smaller mound beside it was used for religious rituals.

Mississippian society was divided into ranked classes. Different levels of distinction probably included nobles, warriors, priests, artisans, commoners and, possibly, captives. After about AD 1300 only the highest-ranking elites lived at Moundville. However, they held political and religious control over a population of about 10,000 people over a 60 mile stretch up and down the Black Warrior River Valley from Tuscaloosa to Demopolis. We invite you to explore the wonder and mystery of this vanished civilization.
 
Erected by the University of Alabama.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Anthropology & ArchaeologyNative AmericansSettlements & Settlers. A significant historical year for this entry is 1200.
 
Location. 33° 0.181′ N, 87° 37.684′ W. Marker is in Moundville, Alabama, in Hale County. Marker is on Mound Parkway, 0.6 miles west of Alabama Route 69, on the right when traveling north. Located next to the Admissions building. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Moundville AL 35474, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers

Moundville Archaeological Park Marker with mounds in background. image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Mark Hilton, January 19, 2020
2. Moundville Archaeological Park Marker with mounds in background.
are within walking distance of this marker. A different marker also named Moundville Archaeological Park (within shouting distance of this marker); Politics and Power (approx. 0.3 miles away); Mound B (approx. 0.4 miles away); Earthlodge (approx. 0.4 miles away); a different marker also named Politics and Power (approx. 0.4 miles away); Mound Arrangement (approx. 0.4 miles away); A Perspective of Power (approx. 0.4 miles away); The CCC and Moundville (approx. half a mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Moundville.
 
Artist rendering of Moundville, ca. 1250 AD. image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Mark Hilton, January 19, 2020
3. Artist rendering of Moundville, ca. 1250 AD.
Moundville Archaeological Park map from Park brochure. image. Click for full size.
Photographed By UA Brochure
4. Moundville Archaeological Park map from Park brochure.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on February 9, 2020. It was originally submitted on January 20, 2020, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama. This page has been viewed 352 times since then and 30 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on January 20, 2020, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.

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Apr. 13, 2024