In the 13th century, Moundville was one of the largest Native American settlements north of Mexico. Spread over 325 acres were 29 earthen mounds arranged around a great plaza, a mile-long stockade, and dozens of dwellings for thousands of people. Moundville, in size and complexity second only to the Cahokia site in Illinois, was a heavily populated town as well as a political and religious center.
Moundville was sustained by tribute of food and labor provided by the people who lived in the nearby floodplain as well as other smaller mound centers. The immediate area appears to have been thickly populated, but by about AD 1350, Moundville retained only ceremonial and political functions. A decline ensued, and by the 1500s the area was abandoned. By the time the first Europeans reached the Southeast in the 1540s, the precise links between Moundville's inhabitants and what became the historic Native American tribes had become a mystery.
Moundville tells the story of the ancient people who lived there, the modern struggle to save the site from destruction, and the scientific saga of the archaeologists who brought the story to life. Moundville is the book to listen to before, during, or after a visit to Alabama's prehistoric metropolis.
The book is published by The University of Alabama Press.
"We are greatly in need of a short guide to Moundville, and this work fits the bill nicely. It does a good job of reporting not only the facts, but also some of the history of the site, the key researchers over the years, and how archaeologists develop an understanding of the people and the place. The general reader should find this book very useful." (Jim Knight, professor of anthropology at The University of Alabama)
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