Old 1930s Archaeology Film about Moundville

Late this afternoon, Mr. Donald B. Ball, a professional archaeology colleague in Louisville, Kentucky, sent me a hyperlink to an old black and white film about Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) archaeology at the Mississippian period Moundville site (1TU500) in Moundville, Alabama. I have been around things archaeological in nature for most of my life, but I had never seen this old federal film. It occurred to me that you might not have seen it either.  This really interesting film dates to 1937, and you may watch it by clicking on the white triangle below.

It shows the Moundville site actually under excavation by CCC members in the 1930s, discusses the human mortuary remains, shows artifacts in situ, and ends with a close pictorial examination of Moundville ceramic vessels—some of which I had never before seen.  If you love Mississippian ceramics, I think you will love this old film. It runs about 18 minutes in length, is well narrated, and covers a lot of ground. Some of the anthropological and archaeological opinions expressed in this old film would not hold up to academic scrutiny today, but time and understanding always march on together.

Please note that the film will appear to end about two-thirds of the way through it.  This is some sort of break or splice point in the film.  When it comes, just hang on for about a minute or so and keep watching.  The film will resume on its own.  Have fun watching the film!!!

Film Credit: U.S. Department of the Interior


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