Native Village
Youth and Education news
 Volume 1, February 2011

Tuscaloosa, Alabama Pre-1700's
Read the entire article: http://tuskaloosa.us/wp/?page_id=57Tuskaloosa, Alabama
Condensed by Native Village

Alabama: In the Creek and Choctaw languages, “tushka” means warrior and “lusa” means black. 800 years ago, Tuscaloosa was home to Moundville, the largest city in North America.
 

The country was inhabited by both Creek and Choctaw Indians.
Over two dozen earthen mounds were built for ceremonial structures or to elevate the houses of nobility. The tallest mound was 60 feet high.
A wooden stockade wall was built around the city.  It had guard towers and was over a mile long.
 
Up to 10,000 Indians lived in area villages.
Early Creek and Choctaw stories say an Indian ball game was played decide hunting rights to the area.
The area south of Moundville was the ceremonial center of the region's Indian Culture.
By the 1500s, the Moundville civilization had collapsed and the site was abandoned
.

European explorers first entered Alabama in the 1500s from the Northeast. Hernando DeSoto and his 600 men traveled south, capturing Native leaders as hostages to ensure safe passage. The Spaniards reached the town of Maubila in October.

It was here that the conquistadores met Tuscaloosa, a Native leader described as being seven feet tall.  After gifts were exchanged, a dispute arose and a battle followed. 

Although the Spaniards suffered casualties by the score, they had superior weapons. Those, combined with setting fire to the great village, killed thousands of Chief Tuscaloosa’s people.

After the Spanish expedition, the area became a virtual no-man’s land for over 200 years.

Today, Moundville is among the most important and well preserved archaeological sites in the U.S.  Nearly 50,000 people visit each year.  Many spectacular artifacts discovered at the site are on display in the park’s museum.

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