The Mound at Fort Toulouse – Fort Jackson Park
This earthen mound and the adjacent village were built by people of the Mississippian culture who likely had some relationship to the people associated with the large site of Moundville located about 20 miles south of present-day Tuscaloosa on the Black Warrior River. The Mississippian culture is believed to have originated in the Mississippi River Valley near the end of the first millennium AD (circa 1050) and continued as the dominant culture of the Southeast until the time of European exploration and settlement (1511-1700). Based on oral traditions and archaeological evidence, it is believed that the Mississippians moved east and established major communities in the area that became Alabama.
This site sits at a strategic location where the Coosa and Tallapoosa Rivers join to form the Alabama River. From such a vantage point, all movement of people and goods up and down the rivers could be controlled by Mississippian traders who used the river systems much as we use highways today. Such a strategic location enabled political control over a massive area and allowed for development of a diverse cultural tradition with far reaching influence. Additionally, the site is situated on sandy well-drained soil forty feet above the river level and seldom floods. Consequently, it is one of the longest and most heavily occupied indigenous sites in Alabama. It remained the site of significant American Indian occupation until the removal of the Creek Indians in the 1830s. The Historic period Alabama and Muscogee Creek villages, named Pakana and Taskigi respectively, were located here.
This site is very important to numerous southeastern indigenous tribes who assert an ancestral connection with those who built and occupied Alabama’s ancient mounds. The earthwork landscapes and the objects and information recovered from them reveal a rich cultural tradition that still thrives today among these tribes. Our indigenous mound sites represent a heritage for all Alabamians to cherish, and it is important that we protect and preserve them for future generations.