The Fuller Site

Since at least 3,000 BC, the Mobile Tensaw Delta and Mobile Bay teemed with indigenous people moving up and down the waterways and taking overland trails to places far inland where they traded items and ideas. Atop this bluff overlooking both the delta and the bay, in what has become the community of Spanish Fort, lie the remains of repeated occupation left behind by these people.

The Fuller site consists of a shell midden formed by the remnants of countless gatherings and meals. Rangia shells piled across the site highlight the importance of the brackish water clams that helped to feed all the people living and working in the area.

Beginning in the Middle Archaic period, some 5,000 years ago, mobile groups of people who hunted and gathered their food took advantage of this strategic location and occupied it regularly. In addition to being close to abundance sources of food, fresh water, and other essential resources in the delta and bay, this site’s relatively high elevation protected it from floods and storm surges. Nearby outcrops of iron-rich sandstone also offered material suitable for making stone tools, which is rare along the Golf Coast. About AD 150, the site was occupied again during the Middle Woodland period and yet again during the Mississippian Stage after about AD 1100, attesting to this site’s attractiveness as a place for indigenous people to camp and live over the millennia.

The strategic value of this site was evident hundreds of years later, when in the Spring of 1865, Union African American troops built a series of artillery batteries in this area to take advantage of the strategic firing position that the high bluff afforded. One of those earthworks disturbed the shell midden significantly, and the remnants of these fortifications are still visible.

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.

 

50 Speckle Trout Route, Spanish Fort, AL 36527

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Located in Baldwin County.

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