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Big Box Retail to Destroy Ancient Indian Mound

Officials in the city of Oxford, Alabama have approved the construction of a Sam's Club retail store that will use the dirt of a 1,500 year old Native American ceremonial mound as fill, arguing against reports of its historical significance.
August 5, 2009, 10am PDT | Nate Berg
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"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.'"

Though the site will likely not qualify for listing on the National Register of Historic Places, archeologists are protesting that its significance justifies halting the project and using dirt fill form another site. City officials are reportedly moving ahead with the project.

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Published on Tuesday, August 4, 2009 in Grist
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