|'Moundville' Historical Marker in Hale County, Ala.|
This week’s featured historical marker is the “MOUNDVILLE” marker in Hale County, just south of Tuscaloosa. This marker is located on the northwest side of Alabama Highway 69 at the intersection of Mound Parkway.
This marker was erected by the Alabama Historical Commission. There’s text on both sides of this marker, but both sides are identical. What follows is the complete text from the marker.
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“MOUNDVILLE: Site of a prehistoric Native American political and ceremonial center from about A.D. 1100-1500 that, at its height in the 13th Century, was America’s largest community north of Mexico. Between 1,000 and 3,000 people lived in this town fortified by a one-mile long wooden wall studded with guard towers. Moundville served as the capital of a powerful chiefdom of about 10,000 people living in smaller villages over a 60-mile stretch of the Black Warrior River Valley from present-day Tuscaloosa to Demopolis. The Moundville people constructed 28 massive flat-topped earthen mounds arranged systematically around a vast central plaza. The mounds served as elevated platforms for civic and ceremonial structures and the homes of nobles. The site was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1964 and added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1966.”
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This marker is located at the entrance to Moundville Archaeological Park, and if you’ve never been to this park, I highly recommend it because it’s one of the coolest places in all of Alabama. The first time I ever visited the park I was in the fourth grade, and my parents took the family there because I was studying about the mounds in my Alabama History class. I can still vividly remember seeing these mounds for the first time, and they are very impressive.
The park has changed a lot over the years, and today it not only features the Indian mounds, but the park also includes the Jones Archaeological Museum, a cool gift shop, a café, campsites and nature trails. The park is open every day from 9 a.m. until dusk, and the museum is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is charged - $8 for adults, $7 for senior citizens, and $6 for students and children over five.
If you visit the park, I highly recommend that you at least take the self-guided tour of the park, which takes about three hours to finish. Guided tours that last about two hours are available, but you do have to make reservations and pay for that service. For more information about the park, visit moundville.ua.edu.
Next time I visit the park, I plan to do a little geocaching. A quick search of hidden caches on geocaching.com shows that there are about 20 active caches in and around the park. Some of them sound and look pretty cool, so I’m definitely going to try to bag some of those.
In the end, visit this site next Wednesday to learn about another historical marker. I’m also taking suggestions from the reading audience, so if you know of an interesting historical marker that you’d like me to feature, let me know in the comments section below.