ArchiTreats logo Date/Time: Thursday, September 18, 2008 at 12:05 P.M.

Place: Alabama Department of Archives and History

Topic: “A Guide to Prehistoric Moundville”

Speaker: John H. Blitz

Moundville, overlooking the Black Warrior River in west Alabama, was one of the largest prehistoric settlements in the United States. Join us at noon on Thursday, September 18, as John H. Blitz presents, “A Guide to Prehistoric Moundville.” This ArchiTreats: Food for Thought presentation will be held at the Alabama Department of Archives and History.

Founded by Native Americans 800 years ago, Moundville was an important town of the Mississippian culture. Spread over more than 300 acres were 29 earthen mounds arranged around a great plaza, a mile-long stockade, and dozens of houses for hundreds of people. Later, Moundville changed from a populous town to a sacred place of ceremonies and funerals. By the mid-1500s, the site was abandoned. The precise link between Moundville’s inhabitants and Alabama’s historic Native American tribes remains a mystery. Today, the well-preserved remains are protected at Moundville Archaeological Park. In a talk illustrated with images of many artifacts found at Moundville, Dr. Blitz will present 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.

Dr. John H. Blitz is an archaeologist at the University of Alabama who studies the origins and development of ancient complex societies. He has pursued archaeology in Mexico, Ecuador, and Belize, but most of his research is focused on the prehistoric Mississippian societies in the American Southeast. Currently, he directs the Early Moundville Archaeological Project at the prehistoric site of Moundville. His most recent book is Moundville (University of Alabama Press, 2008). Written for the general reader, this is the book to read before, during, or after a visit to Alabama’s prehistoric metropolis. Books will be available for purchase and a book signing will be held after the program.

This ArchiTreats presentation is one in a series of monthly third-Thursday free lectures presented by the Alabama Department of Archives and History. The public is invited to bring a sack lunch and enjoy a bit of Alabama history. Coffee and tea will be provided by the Friends of the Alabama Archives. For more information call (334) 353-4712 or go to

Updated: August 22, 2008
Alabama Department of Archives & History
624 Washington Avenue
Montgomery, Alabama 36130-0100
Phone: (334) 242-4435
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