An Alabama archaeological park preserves over 500 years of mysterious ruins
Rain pools on my windshield faster than the blades can wipe it away. I’m 10 miles south of Selma, driving a cracked road through dripping wilderness toward the Alabama River. Arriving at Six Mile Creek, I find a mostly empty campground. The lower riverside sites have a veneer of damp mud from recent flooding. It’s hot and steamy, so I set up my cot inside my mesh bug shelter and sweat through the night.
The next morning, I drive to the Old Cahawba visitor center, then walk down Capitol Street, the eerie main road running through dense forest. Like many American cities, there are intersecting roads laid out in a grid. Block upon block, each lined by jungle instead of buildings.
Today, Old Cahawba Archaeological Park preserves more than the location of Alabama’s first state capital. Hidden amid thick
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