Alabama's Heritage Mounds

Archive for the ‘Alabama Sacred Stone Mounds’ Category

A very well written/researched article by Richard Thornton:
How Mexican crops and architecture reached the heartland of North America

Gives a very good explanation for the culture/crops that the SouthEastern US tribes had in common with Central American tribes/Native American groups.

– Cathy

ISS – Sacred Indian mound destroyed for sports complex in Alabama

Harry Holstein, a professor of archaeology and anthropology at Alabama’s Jacksonville State University who specializes in prehistoric stone structure sites, told the Anniston Star newspaper that the ruined site — which contained remnants of an Indian village and the base of a temple mound that may have held human remains — has vanished:

When Holstein visited the site last summer, it was still intact.

But when he returned to the area Monday, he could find no sign of the mound or the village remnants.

The land is now flat, with tire tread marks clearly visible in the dirt.

“It’s been flattened like a pancake,” Holstein said. “There is just grass over it now.”

Holstein was part of a team of JSU researchers who prepared a report for the city before construction began that found the property slated for development contained some of the most significant archaeological sites in northeast Alabama. The report called for their preservation, which city leaders agreed to.

Holstein believes the structures that were at the destroyed site were related to the stone mound on a hill behind an Oxford shopping center. Last year, contractors hired by the city’s Commercial Development Authority were using dirt from that mound as fill for construction of a Sam’s Club, part of a chain operated by Arkansas-based Walmart. Following public outcry, the contractors halted that work and switched to fill dirt provided by a private landowner.

Anniston Star – Cashing in on history Moundville brings money to west Alabama but price is too high for Oxford

Centuries ago, American Indians settled in an area near Tuscaloosa, where they built towering mounds and a thriving cultural center. Today the area is known as the Moundville Archaeological Park and it too is thriving — drawing thousands of visitors and generating millions for the economy of west Alabama each year.

The city of Oxford was once home to a similar Indian culture long ago and though it is not as elaborate, the city today contains many archaeological sites. In addition, near some of the Indian sites is a 19th century home with plenty of history of its own.

In recent years, some have suggested that like Moundville, Oxford could have its own historic attraction. However, creating such a facility may not be easy, especially since some of the sites may have recently been destroyed.

For years Harry Holstein, professor of archaeology and anthropology at Jacksonville State University, has researched the Davis Farm property — much of which is being used as the construction site for Oxford’s multi-million-dollar sports complex — and uncovered large amounts of ancient artifacts and the remnants of a temple mound and village.

Anniston Star – Buried in Oxford Secrecy is a damning trait

Of all the troubling aspects surrounding the ongoing saga of Native American sites in Oxford, one has bubbled to the top.

It’s the secrecy.

The discovery of human remains at the Davis Farm site strengthens the concerns of those who have long felt the city’s Native American sites could be burial grounds. Today, that’s no longer supposition.

Where there’s one grave, there may be others.

But it’s impossible to defend the secrecy (by some) and the convenient indifference (by others) that has kept the public in the dark about the activities and findings at the Oxford sites.

It’s appropriate that University of Alabama archeologists monitored the construction of Oxford’s sports park at the Davis Farm location. It’s also comforting to know that city officials are expecting soon a “full report” from the archeologists, The Star reported last week.

Deep Fried Kudzu

Oxford, Alabama Destroying A 1500-Year-Old Indian Mound To Build A Sam’s Club
After writing the post yesterday about how the city of Oxford is destroying a 1500-year-old Indian mound to use it as fill for the building of a Sam’s Club, I just had to go see it for myself.

It towers over the shopping center “Oxford Exchange”

Anniston Star – In the Oxford dirt

Re “American Indian body found at Oxford site” (News article, Jan. 22):

When I was informed of the findings of human remains at the Davis Farm site earlier last week, my first reaction was one of extreme anger.

My anger was soon joined by sorrow that the city of Oxford could be so callous to the feelings of an entire ethnic group. The fact that “a body” was unearthed by a bulldozer and without care or ceremony “reburied” breaks my heart. That “body” was a human being.

As a person who just buried my own mother, it is incomprehensible to me how the city of Oxford could even consider continuing development of that site. Beyond the ethical questions involved, there are also health questions to be answered. Does anyone know how this person died? Was it natural causes or was it disease?

Anniston Star – UA expert Mound is still there

OXFORD — A University of Alabama archaeologist Tuesday told the City Council natural forces created a stone mound that was the source of controversy in 2009, contradicting a report he signed last year, which claimed the mound was likely made by human hands about 1,000 years ago.

During the regular meeting of the Oxford City Council Tuesday Robert Clouse, director of the Office of Archaeological Research at the University of Alabama and the director of the University of Alabama Museums, tried to answer questions about the mound behind the Oxford Exchange and the apparent removal of another mound at the historic Davis Farm site nearby.

Anniston Star – UA professor defends claims about Oxford mound

OXFORD — A University of Alabama archaeologist Wednesday said more investigation had led him to believe natural forces created a pile of stones that an earlier report bearing his signature said had been erected by humans hundreds of years ago.

The stone mound was at the center of a dispute last year that saw the City of Oxford back away from plans to level the mound to use dirt beneath it for fill at a construction site at the nearby Oxford Exchange.

Robert Clouse, director of the Office of Archaeological Research at the University of Alabama and the director of the University of Alabama Museums, said in an e-mail to The Star “the discrepancy between the two reports is the result of additional information gathered from actual on-site review of the make-up of the mound and additional research into the geological events surrounding the gradual disintegration of the makeup of the mountain.”

Alabama Archaeological Society

Destruction of the Oxford Indian Stone Mound
by Richard Kilborn

The State of Alabama has a rich pre-historic past that in some locations is evidenced by the presence of Indian Mounds. These mounds were frequently the ceremonial center for local villages and surrounding regional settlements at which the Native American Indians practiced their social and religious beliefs. Many of the mounds had burials interred within them. Most mounds were constructed of earth carried in baskets from adjacent land but on rare occasions they were made by stacking up stones. Either way, a tremendous amount of time and effort was expended in their construction and is a testament to the importance of these sites to their builders.

Archaeologists and other professionals in interrelated fields have studied some of these sites using a very meticulous and disciplined scientific method of excavation and documenting what was observed in extremely detailed records. This enabled them to gain insights into the state of civilization for the American Indians in a time before the arrival of Europeans. These excavations have helped fill in many blank areas in our knowledge of this land’s prehistoric past but much remains to be learned.

The largest stone mound in the Choccolocco Valley was constructed on the top of a steep 200 foot hill in Oxford Alabama and measures 96 feet long by 48 feet wide with the stones stacked almost 6 feet high. Harry Holstein, Jacksonville State University professor of anthropology and archaeology recorded the site designated as 1Ca636 in 2003 although it had been known of decades earlier. Inhabitants of a major prehistoric Woodland and Mississippian town only hundreds of meters away on the bank of the Choccolocco Creek most likely built this sacred site between 500 to 2,500 years ago.

The Law and American Indian burial mound protection–alabama laws

Aboriginal mounds and burials are covered in Citation: Aboriginal Mounds, Earthworks and Other Antiquities (Alabama Code §41-3-1 to §41-3-6); Alabama Cemetery and Human Remains Protection Act (93-905); Burials (Alabama Historical Commission Chapter 460-x-10). The Aboriginal Mounds, Earthworks and Other Antiquities Act claims state ownership of all antiquities in the state including mounds, prehistoric burials; prehistoric and historic forts and earthworks; and the materials contained within these resources. Non-state residents are prohibited from excavating these resources although private land owners may allow a non-resident to excavate mounds and burials on private lands so long as the artifacts remain in the state.



  • Barbara sullivan: If by that time made have way to go
  • Barbara sullivan: My husband Underwood. Sullivan grandson.of cecil sim weaver.sullivan .his mother was Annie mae sullivan. Cecil weaver. Mother was Annie Reed.weaver he
  • Susan Pollock: Hi Barbara , I realize this is an older post , but just came across it while I was doing some research on the MOWA. I recently became a tribal member

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