Cashing in on history: Moundville brings money to west Alabama, but price is too high for Oxford

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.

University of Alabama archaeologists on Jan. 8 reported discovering ancient American Indian remains at the site. On Monday, Holstein claimed the mound had disappeared. City officials maintain nothing has been done to the site.

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