Historic Markers Across Alabama

Copena Burial Mound

Marker ID:  
Location: inside Oakville Park near Copean Indian mound in a clump of trees, same side of road as mound, Oakville, Alabama
County: Lawrence
Coordinates: N 34° 26.735    W 087° 10.724
  34.44558333    -87.17873333
Style: Free Standing **
Waymark: WMNCEQ


Copena Indians built this mound with baskets of dirt some 2000 years ago. The Copena name was derived from their use of copper and galena (lead ore) found in their burials along with gorgets and celts. The mounds were a burial site with the dead encased in a plaster of clay covered with layers of soil. The many burial mounds within a few miles are evidence of an extensive cultural center. The perennial springs and fertile lands encircled by West Flint Creek contributed to a large population. The Copena society flourished here for hundreds of years and they raised a variety of domesticated crops. some 17 miles north of here the Tennessee River provided an inexhaustible food supply of fresh water mussels. In the mid 1800's settlers were buried on the mounds under false stone crypts. In 1924, Smithsonian archaeologists noted three other burial mounds in the areas that were being leveled by farmers.

Erected by Lawrence County Historical Commission Inc.

End of Copena Burial Mound