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Artifacts found on Gulf Coast(MS)
McClatchy Newspapers ^ | 26 July 2006 | Ryan LaFontaine

Posted on 08/24/2006 7:24:36 AM PDT by Marius3188

BAY ST. LOUIS, Miss. — Archaeologists believe they have uncovered evidence of an ancient village, possibly dating back to the time of Christ, that once thrived along the shores of this Gulf Coast community.

The artifacts were unearthed during recent efforts to rebuild a thoroughfare and major bridge heavily damaged last year by Hurricane Katrina.

Marco Giardino, an archaeologist acting as the city's liaison on a dig to preserve the ancient remains, said as many as 400 people may have lived in the village. "That area was very strategic and would have allowed them to travel, fish and hunt," he said. "It's on high ground at the entrance to the bay, which would allow them to see people coming and they could defend themselves a lot easier."

Giardino said spearheads and pottery found in the area suggest an Indian tribe established the village sometime between 200 B.C. and 400 A.D.

The first sign of the ancient Indians was found while workers were repairing parts of Beach Boulevard that Katrina destroyed last year.

Experts say the center of the village would have been somewhere around the foot of the U.S. 90 bridge over the Bay of St. Louis, where archaeologists have discovered an Indian mound that is believed to be a burial site.

Several tiny man-made vaults or pockets may have been cut through the mound to bury the bodies of high-ranking village members and possibly their belongings.

One reason the mound has remain unearthed for more than 2,000 years is its lackluster appearance. Early French settlers likely believed the mound, at about 50 feet wide and less than six feet tall, was a natural ground formation.

For most of the previous century, the mound was covered by large oak trees and hidden behind massive beachfront homes. Katrina destroyed most of the homes in Bay St. Louis, including the ones that had protected the mound for so long.

The mound is essentially off limits to researchers because it sits on private property, but a lot of the relics found so far have been scattered through the village area.

If human remains are discovered in the village area, federal law requires researchers to locate and return the sacred discovery to whatever Indian tribe may have occupied the village at that time, which could be a tricky thing to do.

Giardino said the hunt for exactly which tribe established the village could last even longer.

"We know that the ancestors of the Choctaw Indians were here when the French came, but whether they were the same group here hundreds of years earlier, it's hard to tell," Giardino said. However, scientists have located ancient garbage heaps, archaeologically known as "middens," next to places where they believe village dwellings once stood. Archaeologists can often find evidence left in a midden of what the villagers ate, which could give important clues about the civilization itself.

Mississippi transportation department archaeologists, who are leading the search for artifacts, declined to comment on the work for fear of grave robbers and treasure hunters.

"We don't need to call attention to it because of looters and we are not able to speak to it due to federal law," said Lisa Siegel, a department spokeswoman.

What impact the discovery may have on the rebuilding of the area is uncertain.

City leaders are working with state and federal transportation officials to cut a temporary beach road, while several agencies work to rebuild a 30-foot bluff and the bay bridge.

By law, the Mississippi Department of Transportation could rebuild the beach road over the artifacts, so long as the project doesn't disturb the historic relics in any way.

Buz Olsen, the city's chief of operations, said the roadwork includes replacing old water and sewer lines that for years ran underneath the road.

"We were disturbing the ground where these artifacts were," he said. "Our trenching for the new utilities may be as deep as five feet and some of the artifacts are just four feet below the ground."

Olsen said the only portion of the project that could be compromised is laying of the utilities because the digging required could disturb the area.

"With the utility corridor, (archaeologists) are going to want to sift through every piece of dirt," he said.

"Things like this have been known to hold up projects for years," Olsen said. "Hopefully, it won't hold up the temporary road and the beach project."

The scenario changes if human remains are found.

Sherry Hutt, a program manager at the U.S. Department of Interior, said such a find could temporarily shut down the massive repair project on Beach Boulevard.

"If human remains are found (on federal land) and there's federal money being spent, then you would have to stop activity immediately and instigate consultation with the possible descendent groups," she said.

Hutt, national program director of the Native American Grave Protection and Repatriation Act, which regulates the return of certain cultural items, said the stop-activity consultation period is at least 30 days.

However, David Seyfarth, a project engineer with state transportation department, said neither the village nor the archaeological excavation is likely to slow work on the U.S. 90 bridge.


TOPICS: Miscellaneous; US: Mississippi; Unclassified
KEYWORDS: archaeology; artifacts; godsgravesglyphs; gulfcoast; indians; katrina; mississippi; village
I'm surprised more of thise has not shown up yet.
1 posted on 08/24/2006 7:24:39 AM PDT by Marius3188
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To: SunkenCiv

GGG ping

Old yet new!


2 posted on 08/24/2006 7:25:28 AM PDT by Marius3188 (Happy Resurrection Weekend)
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To: Marius3188

..this..dummy


3 posted on 08/24/2006 7:26:31 AM PDT by Marius3188 (Happy Resurrection Weekend)
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To: Marius3188
"Global Warming Buries Mississippi Village"

Film at 11.

4 posted on 08/24/2006 7:27:34 AM PDT by Izzy Dunne (Hello, I'm a TAGLINE virus. Please help me spread by copying me into YOUR tag line.)
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To: WKB; bourbon; dixiechick2000

MS Ping


5 posted on 08/24/2006 7:27:56 AM PDT by stainlessbanner
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To: Marius3188
I know exactly where this is. My late uncle lived in Bay St. Louis for many years and was a member of the city's historical society. Not far from this site, a bronze plaque marks the site of a naval battle which occurred during the War of 1812. My uncle did the research into the vessels involved and the placement of shore batteries near what would become "downtown" Bay St. Louis. I *think* the marker is still standing, post-Katrina.

I went on a few driving vacations up the Natchez Trace with my cousin and uncle, too - oftentimes stopping to see indian burial mounds. At the time, my cousin and I found it horrifically boring, but now I appreciate it a bit more.

My uncle moved from the MS coast a few years ago for health reasons, but would've been amazed at this discovery so near his old house. I'm actually glad that he never got a chance to see post-Katrina Bay St. Louis, though. God, what an awful sight.

6 posted on 08/24/2006 7:44:27 AM PDT by Charles Martel (Liberals are the crab grass in the lawn of life.)
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To: Marius3188

A new attraction for tourists and scholars, I hope. Poor old MS needs it. Ill wind indeed that blows nobody some good?


7 posted on 08/24/2006 7:51:54 AM PDT by old-ager
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To: Marius3188
scientists have located ancient garbage heaps

Life was strange before garbage disposals.
8 posted on 08/24/2006 7:57:28 AM PDT by evets (I'm so happy.)
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To: old-ager
Were they also victims of Hurricane Katrina? We have to find some way to blame Bush.

If they find evidence of an ancient trailer it will confirm my theory that Rednecks evolved from an ancient species in the South. That's the only way to explain the affection for Grits, Gravy and NASCAR.

9 posted on 08/24/2006 8:37:34 AM PDT by Lance Romance
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To: stainlessbanner; kmomma; MissyPrissy; Hawthorn; penelopesire; mrsmel; ToddBush; gbaker; ...

Mississippi ping


10 posted on 08/24/2006 9:03:37 AM PDT by WKB (If I send you a blank reply that means I have nothing else to say to you.)
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To: Marius3188; blam; FairOpinion; StayAt HomeMother; Ernest_at_the_Beach; 24Karet; 3AngelaD; ...
Thanks Marius3188.

To all -- please ping me to other topics which are appropriate for the GGG list. Thanks.
Please FREEPMAIL me if you want on or off the
"Gods, Graves, Glyphs" PING list or GGG weekly digest
-- Archaeology/Anthropology/Ancient Cultures/Artifacts/Antiquities, etc.
Gods, Graves, Glyphs (alpha order)

11 posted on 08/24/2006 9:34:35 AM PDT by SunkenCiv (updated my FR profile on Thursday, August 10, 2006. https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: Marius3188

A lot usually do, but construction workers and their bosses keep quiet or risk losing their jobs due to a work stoppage.


12 posted on 08/24/2006 9:36:31 AM PDT by flying Elvis
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To: Marius3188

As a general rule, if the descendants of the previous owners of the village have forgotten all about it, they lose all rights to it. Finders keepers.


13 posted on 08/24/2006 9:39:20 AM PDT by coconutt2000 (NO MORE PEACE FOR OIL!!! DOWN WITH TYRANTS, TERRORISTS, AND TIMIDCRATS!!!! (3-T's For World Peace))
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To: Marius3188
hidden behind massive beachfront homes

Just HAD to get that in didn't they?

14 posted on 08/24/2006 10:27:39 AM PDT by doodad
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To: doodad

......Just HAD to get that in didn't they?....

Not realizing that the dig was actually a winter community of Iowa snowbirds.


15 posted on 08/24/2006 10:36:04 AM PDT by bert (K.E. N.P. Keep watch for the Mahdi...... he's coming on 22 August!!)
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To: Marius3188

"If human remains are discovered in the village area, federal law requires researchers to locate and return the sacred discovery to whatever Indian tribe may have occupied the village at that time, which could be a tricky thing to do. "

SUUURRRE.

Indian tribes moved around, coalesced, died out, and fragemented tremendously during the mere 500 years or so of European contact. Over 2,000 years ago I doubt if any existing tribe has any connections whatsoever to these people.

That was an idiotic Federal Law and it ought to be repealed.


16 posted on 08/24/2006 11:15:31 AM PDT by ZULU (Non nobis, non nobis, Domine, sed nomini tuo da gloriam. God, guts, and guns made America great.)
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To: ZULU
:D Hey, that Federal law got me my first archaeological job - as a supervisor no less! (NAGPRA) :D

It was utterly useless for the museums I worked in, but I gained some useful experience!

17 posted on 08/24/2006 12:06:53 PM PDT by Alkhin (Thieving tyranny is all they offer.)
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To: WKB

Fascinating!


18 posted on 08/24/2006 12:23:40 PM PDT by bourbon (Islam hates the West, and the West hates itself. How will we survive?)
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To: Marius3188

2000 years ago I bet the Gulf Coast was a paradise, at least during the late fall, winter/spring months.


19 posted on 08/24/2006 12:30:22 PM PDT by Rb ver. 2.0
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To: Rb ver. 2.0
A paradise for whom would be an appropriate question.


20 posted on 08/24/2006 7:43:36 PM PDT by perfect stranger (I need new glasses.)
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To: perfect stranger
2,000 years ago, they weren't protected..
They were eaten...
21 posted on 08/24/2006 10:20:17 PM PDT by Drammach (Freedom... Not just a job, it's an adventure..)
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To: flying Elvis
A lot usually do, but construction workers and their bosses keep quiet or risk losing their jobs due to a work stoppage.

I don't blame them one bit.

22 posted on 08/24/2006 10:29:06 PM PDT by lewislynn (Fairtax = lies, hope, wishful thinking, conjecture and lack of logic.)
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To: Drammach

They're still eaten, and they're still dangerous. Don't let anyone tell you different.


23 posted on 08/24/2006 11:06:08 PM PDT by perfect stranger (I need new glasses.)
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To: Marius3188

Kewl post. Not heard anything of this on the local news lol.


24 posted on 08/25/2006 5:00:30 PM PDT by mosquewatch.com (No Islam, Know Peace. www.mosquewatch.blogspot.com)
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To: Marius3188; WKB; stainlessbanner

Wow!
This is amazing!

It will be interesting to see if they can
tie a particular tribe to these artifacts.

Thank you, all, for the post and pings.


25 posted on 08/25/2006 9:30:23 PM PDT by dixiechick2000 (There ought to be one day-- just one-- when there is open season on senators. ~~ Will Rogers)
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To: ZULU
"That was an idiotic Federal Law and it ought to be repealed."

The *left* passes many laws whose purpose is to slow capitalism, or even lead to reprimitization of our society itself.

So-called "environmental impact reports" are a prime example. Endangered species another. Banning development is a key tenant of socialism, and the Left will use most *any* excuse to enact such bans and delays.

26 posted on 08/25/2006 9:39:22 PM PDT by Southack (Media Bias means that Castro won't be punished for Cuban war crimes against Black Angolans in Africa)
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