Skip to comments.Alabama city destroying ancient Indian mound for Sam's Club
Posted on 08/04/2009 11:04:42 PM PDT by BGHater
City leaders in Oxford, Ala. have approved the destruction of a 1,500-year-old Native American ceremonial mound and are using the dirt as fill for a new Sam's Club, a retail warehouse store operated by Wal-Mart.
A University of Alabama archaeology report commissioned by the city found that the site was historically significant as the largest of several ancient stone and earthen mounds throughout the Choccolocco Valley. But Oxford Mayor Leon Smith -- whose campaign has financial connections to firms involved in the $2.6 million no-bid project -- insists the mound is not man-made and was used only to "send smoke signals."
"The City of Oxford and its archaeological advisers have completed a review and evaluation of a stone mound that was identified near Boiling Springs, Calhoun County, Alabama, and have concluded that the mound is the result of natural phenomena and does not meet the eligibility criteria for the Natural [sic] Register of Historic Places," according to a news release Smith issued last week.
In fact, the report does not conclude the mound is a result of "natural phenomena" but says very clearly it is of "cultural origin." And while the University's Office of Archaeological Research does not believe the site qualifies for the National Register of Historic Places, the Alabama Historical Commission disagrees, noting that the structure meets at least three criteria for inclusion: its "association with a broad pattern of history," architecture "embodying distinctive characteristics," and for the information it might yield to scholars.
The site is also significant to Native Americans. The Woodland and Mississippian cultures that inhabited the Southeast and Midwest before Europeans arrived constructed and used these mounds for various rituals, which may have included funerals. There are concerns that human remains may be present at the site, though none have been found yet.
United South and Eastern Tribes, a nonprofit coalition of 25 federally recognized tribes from Maine to Texas, passed a resolution in 2007 calling for the preservation of such structures, which it calls "prayer in stone." Native Americans have held protests against the mound's demolition, and last week someone altered a sign for the Leon Smith Parkway that runs past the development to read "Indian Mound Pkwy."
A local resident named Johnny Rollins told the Anniston Star how his Native American grandmother taught him that when she died he could "go to that mountain" to talk to her:
"It seems like it's taking part of you away," he said of the demolition. "I always felt I had ties to that there."Since the media began reporting on the site's demolition, city officials have revised their story and are now claiming that dirt from the mound is not being used as fill, despite earlier statements to the contrary. But eyewitnesses say they have seen workers hauling dirt from the mound to the Sam's Club development.
Not even if I double-dog-dare you?
Nope. I know where several mounds are and there is an Indian burial ground close to our farm. I won’t dig anywhere near to those areas. Just some surface hunting in the plowed fields.
Most of the mounds were garbage heaps.
The funny part is archaeological evidence indicates that the "Native Americans" displaced earlier "indigenous peoples."
Now, it appears we're being displaced by the decedents of the Spanish/Europeans who seized the regions below our southern border.
You could say history repeats itself, or "what comes around goes around," or you can simply stand around holding hands singing about "the circle of life." Giving all due consideration to the grand scheme of things, I really don't care.
But please, forgive me when I don't hyperventilate over people stealing land from people who stole the land from other people. It's just too damned silly.
Truthfully, I'm not really worked up over the issue myself. Spoils of war, and all of that. Besides, there doesn't seem to be archaeological evidence that it is a burial mound.
Sometimes I have a burning need to be a rabble rouser.
Thanks BGHater. No ping because I think it's been a topic before, and I think articles about this are merely a pretext to bash WalMart.
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Read more and better contemporary histories. The Indians had their own epidemics unrelated to European diseases.
Read ‘Crow Killer’ about John Johnston for instance. The ‘whites’ told the Indians how to deal with these epidemics, but the natives didn’t listen. And they suffered for it.
Exactly! Another let's all hate Walmart article.
As someone with Indian blood BIG DAMN DEAL! We also find arrow heads in our yard. Who knows what/who is buried under our house?!
If a creepy old man shows up and demands that you let him in, slam the door and hide under the bed. Especially if there's a midget-psychic hanging around.
And if your kid gets trapped in a parallel dimension audible through the television, it's her own damn problem!
“Yo, Carol-Anne is stuck in the TV. I tried to get her out; I changed the channel and I even tried putting extra aluminum foil on the antenna. If you need me, I’ll be staying at the Motel-8 in Philly.”