After the break, Cam brings up the mystery of Alabama’s ancient case caskets. In 1840, when he was 22 years old, the Rev. William N. Crump settled outside Oneonta in Blount County and built a farmhouse. He began farming the land and, in 1858, bought 246 acres from the U.S. government. The land included entrances to five caves, according to a 2005 newsletter of Birmingham Grotto: Crump Cave, Second Cave, Horseshoe Cave, Bishopella Cave and Sewer Cave. Crump and friends were hunting in 1840 when they discovered Crump’s Cave, which geologist Frank Burns would later describe as having an “opening so small that a man could scarcely crawl through it.” Inside, Crump found Native American artifacts including beads, arrows and spears, copper items and stone axes. There were also more than 200 pounds of galena, an ore used in lead and silver. Most surprisingly, he also found skulls and wooden coffins that had been hollowed by fire and stone implements. Who built them and were they really coffins?
All of this and more on this installment of Expanded Perspectives!
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