The University of Alabama’s Moundville Archaeological Park is located 13 miles south of Tuscaloosa and is home to 29 massive flat-topped earthen mounds constructed by the Mississippian people and carefully arranged around a vast central plaza. Called “The Big Apple of the 14 th Century” by National Geographic Magazine, Moundville was once America’s largest city north of Mexico. In addition to the museum, village, and the mounds themselves, the park also features a half-mild nature trail, picnic areas, and a campground.
1) There is an admission fee to enter – $8 for adults and $6 for kids. Also, be sure everyone has a face mask – you’ll need them to enter any of the buildings. If your party is larger than 10 people, you’ll need to split into smaller groups.
2) After you leave the welcome center, you have the opportunity to climb 80-something steps to reach the top of one mound, which provides a great view of the entire area (and should help you rack up steps on your Fitbit)
3) You can get a look at lots of the artifacts found on site in the museum building. Here, you’ll also find dioramas of the Mississipian people wearing traditional clothing and holding tools and household items. My kids were convinced the figures were “real” people – they’re pretty lifelike! Before you leave this area, be sure to check out the gift and coffee shops.
4) Just a short walk from the museum and through the woods is a replica of the village in which the Mississippian people lived. You can walk in each hut to see tableaus of crafting, food storage and preparation, and even a burial arrangement.
5) Behind the village, you can catch a beautiful view of the Black Warrior River.
Moundville Archaeology Park is located at:
634 Mound State Parkway