Alabama's Heritage Mounds

Sacred Indian mound destroyed for sports complex in Alabama [LINK/Lead]

Posted on: February 2, 2010

ISS – Sacred Indian mound destroyed for sports complex in Alabama

Harry Holstein, a professor of archaeology and anthropology at Alabama’s Jacksonville State University who specializes in prehistoric stone structure sites, told the Anniston Star newspaper that the ruined site — which contained remnants of an Indian village and the base of a temple mound that may have held human remains — has vanished:

When Holstein visited the site last summer, it was still intact.

But when he returned to the area Monday, he could find no sign of the mound or the village remnants.

The land is now flat, with tire tread marks clearly visible in the dirt.

“It’s been flattened like a pancake,” Holstein said. “There is just grass over it now.”

Holstein was part of a team of JSU researchers who prepared a report for the city before construction began that found the property slated for development contained some of the most significant archaeological sites in northeast Alabama. The report called for their preservation, which city leaders agreed to.

Holstein believes the structures that were at the destroyed site were related to the stone mound on a hill behind an Oxford shopping center. Last year, contractors hired by the city’s Commercial Development Authority were using dirt from that mound as fill for construction of a Sam’s Club, part of a chain operated by Arkansas-based Walmart. Following public outcry, the contractors halted that work and switched to fill dirt provided by a private landowner.

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