Desoto Caverns Family Fun Park

5181 DeSoto Caverns Parkway
800-933-2283

History:

A Woodland Indian burial called a "Copena" burial site can be seen in DeSoto Caverns. The word "Copena" comes from the first three letters of copper and the last three letters of galena, two materials commonly found in these burials. Typically, more than one body fills the mound pit along with such burial offerings as a leaf-shaped stone spear point (called a Copena point).

Prior to a typical Copena burial, the Indians placed their dead out on racks in the sun to dry and decay. Birds would eat away the flesh after which the Indians would gather up the bones and carry them in a sack to their ancestral cave. Here, they would cover the sack with clay and bury it in the earth. The Indians believed it was important that each dead person's spirit have the use of his or her limbs, hands, etc., to get around in the afterlife. They also believed the cave was a peaceful and protective environment for the spirits of their ancestors to live on in.

The burial was discovered in 1965 by a team of archaeologists from the University of Alabama. It contained the skeletons of five Indians, one of whom was a child. Of special note was the immense jawbone of one of these Indians whom scientists believe was more than seven feet tall. Several years ago, DeSoto Caverns Park officials agreed to allow a group of Native Americans to rebury the remains of these Indians in an undisclosed area of the cave.


Reviews

Heather Luce

Rating:
Sunday, Jan. 7, 2018

Dawson was great. Funny,interesting,knowledgeable. He worked with my now fiance to help him propose to me it was a wonderful and magical experience can't wait to go back. Go dragons

Maria Thrash

Rating:
Thursday, Nov. 2, 2017

Wonderful people great family place! It's great to see the cave lot's of history here. They have a gift shop and you can eat there and grab a cold water or whatever you want I just can't say enough Me and my son really enjoyed it. Don't forget about panning for gems and playing games

Jessica Blackburn

Rating:
Wednesday, Dec. 27, 2017

Great experience. Fair price paid $30 for the cave and 5 attractions. Was disapointed that some of it was blocked off, the indian burial site was understandable though. Our tour guide dalton was great. The gem stone panning was super fun and enjoyable. Came here when i was about five was fun then and now 24 years old was even more fun.

Google Assistant

Rating:
Saturday, Dec. 2, 2017

Really cool place but it is just a one time visit kind of place. More for kids. Some times during the year they have American Indian weekends and other functions as well.

Matt Allison

Rating:
Tuesday, Oct. 17, 2017

Overpriced. Nice cave, good setup and history lesson but presentation could be better. Groups were large, guide was hard to hear and didn't wait for the full group to arrive at the next stopping point before starting to speak again. Two groups going at the same time caused tour guides to talk over each other. Guides use microphones and speakers... and in a cave that echoes, it was hard to understand what was being said at times. Good family place to go if they address the overtalking and waiting to continue issues! Note, the cave isn't very stroller friendly at spots though it was mostly open and easy to get around in there. Plenty to do at DeSoto, even if they are priced high.