As one the top cultural sites in the state of Alabama and the second-largest human archeological site east of the mighty Mississippi River, Moundville is an Archeological lover paradise. With 26 mounds still existing, a newly redesigned museum, native American garden, and spectacular views of the Black Warrior River, making this a must visit in Alabama. I promise it will amaze you with the sheer physical enormity of this hand dug settlement with mounds rising up to 52 feet.
Settled over eight hundred years ago, Moundville had a thriving community with a well-established Mississippian culture of about 1,000 people. Occupied from about A.D. 1000 to A.D. 1450, overlooking the Black Warrior River in Central Alabama, just a few miles from Tuscaloosa, it was a center of political and religious importance built with-in a bastioned wooden palisade.
Though much of the settlement has disappeared over time, they have managed to save 26 of the mounds, recovered many artifacts, as well as recreating much of the history depicting the life and culture of these Native Americans. The mounds are all visible with-in the park and climbing to the top of the largest is an exercise in stamina with 2 million cubic feet of earth to climb.
The recently renovated museum is a wonderful stop in the park with its realistic native figures depicting scenes from the past using living American Indians as models for the sculptures.
With a large collection of historic artifacts, recreations and artwork on display, you will have an insight into the life and culture of the Moundville residents.
Enjoying all that the park has to offer includes viewing the wildlife, with frogs, turtles, fish inhabiting the ponds and birds, rodents and snakes among others inhabiting the land. There is a native garden on site that offers a glimpse at some of the foods raised in the area and it is believed that the ponds were an additional source of fish for the native inhabitants.
With the Black Warrior River on one side of the park, they have set-up picnic tables, restrooms, grill pits and access to the river for you to enjoy including campgrounds. It is a great location for discovering the amazing history of our country and its early inhabitants.
Moundville Archeological Park offers several tours which you can find here: http://moundville.ua.edu/tours-programs/
Moundville Archeological Park
634 Mound State Parkway, Moundville, Al 35474
Complete visitor information here: http://moundville.ua.edu/visit-2/
For additional information on Mississippian culture: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mississippian_culture
Further reading about Tuscaloosa, Alabama
Full disclosure, Tuscaloosa Tourism & Sports hosted Never to Old To Travel for a three-day all expense paid media trip to Tuscaloosa with no stipulations. All thoughts and opinions in this article are my own.