Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Alabama city destroying ancient Indian mound for Sam's Club
ISS ^ | 04 Aug 2009 | Sue Sturgis

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.

"I mean really, I went there, saw the giant trucks deliver the earth straight from the mound to the construction site, and I still can't believe what they are doing," writes the seventh-generation Alabamian behind the blog Deep Fried Kudzu. She shared the photo above showing roads for construction vehicles now cut to the top of the mound and has other photos and her story of visiting the site at the website.

'More prettier' than an Indian mound

Deepening the development's controversy is how the contracting has been handled. The force behind the project is Oxford's Commercial Development Authority, a public board that uses taxpayer money to lure businesses to the area. The CDA owns the land where the mound is located.

Alabama law exempts CDAs from bid requirements, which means contracts can go to whomever the board chooses. A recent Anniston Star investigative series about the CDA  revealed among other things that the group has awarded nearly $9 million in contracts since 1994 but has taken bids for none of them.

The newspaper also detailed the financial ties between the CDA, firms it does business with, and Mayor Smith's political campaign.

For example, the $2.6 million contract for preparing the Sam's Club site went to Oxford-based Taylor Corp., with the money for that coming in part from the sale of city property to Georgia-based developers Abernathy and Timberlake. Taylor Corp. owner Tommy Taylor, who has received thousands of dollars in city contracts for non-CDA work, donated $1,000 to Smith in 2004 and $1,000 in 2008, while Abernathy and Timberlake donated $1,000 to Smith's re-election campaign in 2004, the paper reports.

The Anniston Star also found that the CDA paid engineering firm Goodwyn, Mills and Cawood of Montgomery, Ala. $45,000 in engineering contracts for the Sam's Club project, with part of that money paying for the archaeological study. The firm contributed $500 to Smith in 2004.

An Alabama Ethics Commission official said the relationships could violate state law "depending on facts," but the mayor said he's done nothing wrong.

Meanwhile, the controversy over the damaged mound's fate rages on. After getting an earful from alarmed preservationists, Alabama Gov. Bob Riley (R) forwarded their concerns to the state Historical Commission -- but said his office has no intention of getting involved. According to the National Institute on Money in State Politics, Tommy Taylor contributed $1,000 to Riley's 2006 gubernatorial campaign, while Goodwyn, Mills and Cawood contributed $1,500.

For now, it appears Oxford officials are pressing ahead with the project. As Mayor Smith said in its defense, "What it's going to be is more prettier than it is today."


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society; News/Current Events; US: Alabama
KEYWORDS: alabama; godsgravesglyphs; indian; mound

1 posted on 08/04/2009 11:04:43 PM PDT by BGHater
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: SunkenCiv

sigh. Maybe for inventory.


2 posted on 08/04/2009 11:05:18 PM PDT by BGHater (Insanity is voting for Republicans and expecting Conservatism.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: BGHater
isn't that a happy little logo!

***

About the article: civilized people don't mess with the dead.

3 posted on 08/04/2009 11:08:04 PM PDT by the invisib1e hand (The revolution IS being televised.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Ultra Sonic 007

PING


4 posted on 08/04/2009 11:17:11 PM PDT by bamahead (Avoid self-righteousness like the devil- nothing is so self-blinding. -- B.H. Liddell Hart)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: BGHater

Margaret Searcy must be turning over in her grave with anger!


5 posted on 08/04/2009 11:19:22 PM PDT by MHGinTN (Believing they cannot be deceived, they cannot be convinced when they are deceived.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: the invisib1e hand
Messing with Indian Burial/Sacred Ground= Bad Idea.

Next will be stories about it raining frogs at this Sam's Club, or worse.........

6 posted on 08/04/2009 11:25:13 PM PDT by Pajamajan ( Pray for our nation. Thank the Lord for everything you have. Ask His forgiveness. Don't wait.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: the invisib1e hand

Bad medicine
Bad juju
Bad karma

Bet the Sams is defunct within a year.


7 posted on 08/04/2009 11:33:32 PM PDT by 240B (he is doing everything he said he would'nt and not doing what he said he would)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: BGHater

If the indians had a bigger defense budget in the 1500s, they’d still own this continent!


8 posted on 08/04/2009 11:54:19 PM PDT by JimRed ("Hey, hey, Teddy K., how many girls did you drown today?" TERM LIMITS, NOW AND FOREVER!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: BGHater

It’s a good thing. It’s about Jobs, Jobs Jobs, Jobs and Jobs. - N.Pelosi


9 posted on 08/05/2009 12:57:43 AM PDT by LALALAW (one of the asses whose sick of our "ruling" classes)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: JimRed; SunkenCiv

They’d have been better off with modern medicine. The first forays of Europeans into the New World brought with them the diseases of the Old World; Indian communes were ravaged.

By the time heavy-duty colonization began in the 17th century, most of the Indians had already been wiped out.


10 posted on 08/05/2009 1:09:00 AM PDT by Ultra Sonic 007 (To view the FR@Alabama ping list, click on my profile!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: the invisib1e hand

Hogwash. If they can tear down “culturally-significant” Hollywood Park racetrack for commercial reasons, then anything goes.


11 posted on 08/05/2009 1:09:55 AM PDT by qwertypie
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: BGHater

Hey! That’s how the movie Poltergeist started!


12 posted on 08/05/2009 1:13:18 AM PDT by PureSolace (Trust in God)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: BGHater
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.

Let's prevent economic development over what may be. There are concerns that human remains may be present at the site, though none have been found yet. But there may be!

The force behind the project is Oxford's Commercial Development Authority, a public board that uses taxpayer money to lure businesses to the area.

How dare those evil bastards lure businesses into the area and offer employment and economic prosperity!

Seriously, the area has been surveyed. Any genuine artifacts or remains would have successfully halted the project.

Get a grip!

13 posted on 08/05/2009 1:20:34 AM PDT by Grizzled Bear ("Does not play well with others.")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: PureSolace
Hey! That’s how the movie Poltergeist started!

Exactly.

14 posted on 08/05/2009 1:56:34 AM PDT by dragonblustar ("... and if you disagree with me, then you sir, are worse than Hitler!" - Greg Gutfeld)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: BGHater

Every friggin mound of dirt is NOT an Indian burial ground. In fact, they is no proof that any burials took place there.


15 posted on 08/05/2009 2:02:37 AM PDT by packrat35 (The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other peoples money.- M Thatcher)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: BGHater

If it is so important to the Indians, let them buy it and preserve it themselves. Kind of like the rest of us would have to do.


16 posted on 08/05/2009 3:43:54 AM PDT by DennisR (Look around - God gives countless, indisputable, and unambiguous clues that He does, indeed, exist.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: PureSolace
That’s how the movie Poltergeist started!

LOL That was my first thought too. No way I'd go in there.

17 posted on 08/05/2009 3:47:42 AM PDT by barker (Sarah Palin 2012? You betcha!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: BGHater
"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..."

Yeah? And how's that working out for you, Johnny? What's Grandma got to say these days about DJ Jazzy Prezzy Zer0banana?

My Granny told me that when she died, Johnny's tribe would give me $1 Million a year from their Casino. Where's my money, Johnny? C'mon, Kemosabé, turn your head to the left and cough. N'kay?

Hey, I have a great idea! Have a local news crew film you standing a distance away from Granny's dirt hill, looking at it with a tear running down your face...

...wouldn't that be awesome?! Now where's my million$?

;-/

18 posted on 08/05/2009 4:27:45 AM PDT by Gargantua ("Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people..." John Adams)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: txhurl

Something I’ll never do is touch a mound or burial ground ping.


19 posted on 08/05/2009 6:05:46 AM PDT by Arrowhead1952 (Jimmy Carter - now the second worst POTUS ever. BHO has #1 spot in his sights.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: DennisR
If it is so important to the Indians, let them buy it and preserve it themselves.

Wow! You'd fit in well in th olden days. Steal their land and then sell it back to them! Mr. Forked Tounge himself.

20 posted on 08/05/2009 6:50:14 AM PDT by GingisK
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 16 | View Replies]

To: Arrowhead1952
Something I’ll never do is touch a mound or burial ground ping.

Not even if I double-dog-dare you?

21 posted on 08/05/2009 6:57:13 AM PDT by Grizzled Bear ("Does not play well with others.")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 19 | View Replies]

To: Grizzled Bear

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.


22 posted on 08/05/2009 8:32:13 AM PDT by Arrowhead1952 (Jimmy Carter - now the second worst POTUS ever. BHO has #1 spot in his sights.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 21 | View Replies]

To: BGHater

Most of the mounds were garbage heaps.


23 posted on 08/05/2009 8:32:33 AM PDT by RoshYisrael
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: GingisK; DennisR
You'd fit in well in th olden days. Steal their land and then sell it back to them!

RANT

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.

/RANT

24 posted on 08/05/2009 9:57:00 AM PDT by Grizzled Bear ("Does not play well with others.")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 20 | View Replies]

To: Grizzled Bear; DennisR
But please, forgive me when I don't hyperventilate over people stealing land from people who stole the land from other people.

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.

25 posted on 08/05/2009 12:15:02 PM PDT by GingisK
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 24 | View Replies]

To: BGHater

· join list or digest · view topics · view or post blog · bookmark · post a topic ·

 
Gods
Graves
Glyphs
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.

To all -- please ping me to other topics which are appropriate for the GGG list.
GGG managers are SunkenCiv, StayAt HomeMother, and Ernest_at_the_Beach
 

·Dogpile · Archaeologica · ArchaeoBlog · Archaeology · Biblical Archaeology Society ·
· Discover · Nat Geographic · Texas AM Anthro News · Yahoo Anthro & Archaeo · Google ·
· The Archaeology Channel · Excerpt, or Link only? · cgk's list of ping lists ·


26 posted on 08/05/2009 9:00:54 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/__Since Jan 3, 2004__Profile updated Monday, January 12, 2009)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Ultra Sonic 007

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.


27 posted on 10/24/2009 9:37:46 PM PDT by AlmaKing
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: Grizzled Bear
Let's prevent economic development over what may be. There are concerns that human remains may be present at the site, though none have been found yet. But there may be!

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?!

28 posted on 10/24/2009 9:44:54 PM PDT by kcvl
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: kcvl
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!

29 posted on 10/24/2009 9:49:02 PM PDT by Grizzled Bear ("Does not play well with others.")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 28 | View Replies]

To: Grizzled Bear

roflol!


30 posted on 10/24/2009 9:55:23 PM PDT by kcvl
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 29 | View Replies]

To: kcvl

“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.”


31 posted on 10/24/2009 9:59:51 PM PDT by Grizzled Bear ("Does not play well with others.")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 30 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson