Alabama's Heritage Mounds

Archive for the ‘Oxford Mayor’ Category

Anniston Star – The Silent Partner Commercial Development Authority board responsible for Oxford s growth

This series is an in-depth look at how the CDA helped grow the O, and how its board has multiple connections to Oxford Mayor Leon Smith.

OXFORD — Five years ago, there was little but an overgrown wooded area south of Interstate 20’s exit 188.

Today the once-empty space is dominated by the city’s new economic engine, the Oxford Exchange, with its rows of name-brand, big-box retailers and parking lots full of cars driven by shoppers whose money fills the city’s swelling coffers.

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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.

Alabama Historical Commission – Preservation Scoreboard

Preservation Scoreboard

The Preservation Scoreboard tracks Alabama’s endangered properties, including those nominated to Places in Peril. It highlights successful preservation rescues and success stories as “Wins”. It catalogues demolished landmarks under “Loses.” It also lists historic places whose fate is still “In Play.”


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