Volunteers unravel mystery of ancient site at Fort Morgan

Hidden in plain sight.That’s how archeologists describe the prehistoric canal that links Oyster Bay and Little Lagoon built thousands of years ago by Native Americans.
The 8 foot deep, 30 feet wide, half mile long canal was handdug by those early people only after they cleared the Earth of its thick forest — all withoutthe use of modern tools. Early carbon dating results put their Herculean effort some 1,400 years ago. Historians believe the natives used the canal seasonally, to move supplies between the two bodies of water. But at some point a large storm filled the canal with massive amounts of sand. Nature grew
into and over the canal.

Still, it was there. And somewhere in the region’s collective memory, everyone knew what it was. If you grew up on the island your grandparents probably told you about the so-called Indian ditch. You may have played in the large curved crevice or stood atop one of the 10 mounds that line the area.

Harry King remembers following his grandparents into their garden in central Alabama and finding “pretty rocks.” His older cousin said they were arrowheads and promptly relieved the tot of his treasures. King never stopped thinking about his finds. His curiosity helped kick start a life-long interest in history and dedication to preserving Native American stories. As a charter member of the Smithsonian Institute’s National Museum.

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