Historic Markers Across Alabama

Cahawba - circa 1500

Marker ID:  
Location: in the Cahawba Archaeological Park (nominal fee required), 9518 Cahaba Rd, Orrville, AL
County: Dallas
Coordinates: N 32° 19.003    W 087° 5.806
  32.31671666    -87.09676666
Style: Interpretative Sign **
Waymark: None


Cahawba - circa 1500

Two Ghost Towns?
Long before Cahawba was built as Alabama's first state capital, there was another village at this location. Just like Cahawba, it thrived for about 50 years, then disappeared.

About the year 1500 a group of Native Americans migrated up the Alabama River from the coast. When they reached this place, they stopped and built a fortified village like the one in the adjacent illustration. The ditch in front of you is a remnant of the moat that they dug around their walled village.

These 16th century residents were not Creek, Choctaw, Cherokee nor Chickasaw. They may have been the ancestors of one or more of these modern American Indian nations. Archaeologists call these early Cahawba residents, Late Mississippians.

Archaeological evidence suggests that the Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto played a role in their disappearance about 1540.

2015 by the Alabama Historical Commission.

Photographs of the marker can be found on HMDB.org

End of Cahawba - circa 1500