Alternate Perceptions Magazine, February 2018
Bottle Creek Mounds
Mound Complex • Mississippian
by: Dr. Greg Little
Portions of this article are excerpts from Native American Mounds in Alabama, illustration by Carol Hicks.
Bottle Creek is an Archaeological Preserve of the Alabama Historical Commission & National Historic Site —located on an island in the Mobile-Tensaw Delta area near Rice Creek Landing. The mounds are accessed on Mound Island Trail on the “Forever Wild Land Trust’s Delta Tract,” which is 2.9 miles north of the Highway 255/59 split in Stockton, AL on County Rd. 21. Blakeley Park operates a tour to Bottle Creek on the Delta Explorer excursion boat. Several times a year the boat takes groups to the Bottle Creek Mounds, an impressive site that is otherwise very difficult to reach without canoes and a guide.
Bottle Creek is a large Mississippian era mound complex with 18 platform mounds focused on a large plaza area. Temples and habitation structures were erected on the tops of the mounds. The site has been dated to approximately A.D. 1100-1400 and archaeologists refer to the people who constructed it as part of the Pensacola Culture, a “regional variation” of the Mississippians. The largest mound at this well-preserved complex is 45 feet high. In 1702 the temple on the top of the largest mound was still partially intact even after a visit to the site by C. B. Moore in 1899. A young Canadian entered the temple and found several pottery effigies. The famous man was Jean Baptiste LeMoyne de Bienville. Bottle Creek was once surrounded by a high palisade wall and in 1853 Spanish carbine barrels, brass, copper, and swords were found there.