For more than 10,000 years, Russell Cave was home to prehistoric peoples. Russell Cave provides clues to the daily lifeways of early North American inhabitants dating from 6500 B.C. to 1650 A.D. The cave shelter archaeological site contains the most complete record of prehistoric cultures in the Southeast.
History of the Area
To characterize the evolving stages of civilization in southeastern America before European contact, archeologists have established a general cultural sequence: Paleo, Archaic, Woodland, Mississippian.
For most of Russell Cave's 10,000 years of human use, its inhabitants were in the Archaic stage. The cave was one of thousands of southeastern Archaic sites. Recent evidence indicates that the earliest users of the cave were actually at the transitional stage between Paleo and Archaic. During the Paleo period they still depended to a great extent on hunting large animals rather than exploiting a wider range of resources.
Russell Cave National Monument is located near Scottsboro, Whitwell and Winchester
Russell Cave National Monument is located at 3729 County Road 98 in Bridgeport, Alabama. It is situated in the northeast corner of Alabama, just south of the Tennessee state line.
From Chattanooga, Tennessee:Go West on Interstate 24Take U.S. Highway 72 West to County Road 75. Turn Right onto County Road 75. Continue on County Road 75 for one mile. Turn Right onto County Road 98 for four miles. Turn Left into the entrance of the park.
From Huntsville or Scottsboro, Alabama:Take U.S. Highway 72 East to County Road 75. Turn Left onto County Road 75. Continue on County Road 75 for one mile. Turn Right onto County Road 98 for four miles. Turn Left into the entrance of the park.