Archeologists unearth artifacts dated to before Alabama became state

Published 9:39 pm Sunday, September 12, 2021

Archeologists are analyzing pieces of pottery, nails and glass found at Pope’s Tavern, an inn and stagecoach stop for travelers dating back to the early 1800s before Alabama achieved statehood.

A state team funded by a grant recently conducted a dig at the northwest Alabama site, which is the site of a museum that focuses on the history of the city of Florence.

Museum curator Brian Murphy told the TimesDaily that pottery was the most common item discovered during the work.

“They pulled out a bunch of artifacts that are being cleaned and processed right now,” Murphy said. “They will give us a really good image of the types of materials and type of utensils used, and really a glimpse into the daily life of the people who lived there and used that space.”

The crew also found the brick remains of an old structure that could have been a hearth or outbuilding, he said.

“They are seeing what type of materials are associated with that, using flotation, which brings up microscopic material to a level that can be processed. After they do that, they’re going to get back to us with the larger picture of what it all means and what might be under there still that could be the source of a future excavation,” he said.

Pope’s Tavern was built in the 1830s, he said, and artifacts found on the grounds dated to the 1820s and 1830s.