Concerns surface over possible Native American mounds on fertilizer site

Concerns surface over possible Native American mounds on fertilizer site
Published: Jan. 23, 2014 at 2:55 AM CST|Updated: Jan. 30, 2014 at 2:33 AM CST
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POSEY CO., IN (WFIE) - Posey County officials say a firm hired by the Midwest Fertilizer group is still surveying and analyzing the plant's future site.

But there are concerns there could be Native American mounds on the property.

Cheryl Munson, a research scientist with IU's Department of Anthropology, says she's studied in Posey County for years, and near the fertilizer plant property, is a well-known Hopewell Culture set of Native American mounds called the Mann Site.

Munson says on the 219 acres between Sauerkraut Lane and Mackey Ferry Road, where the plant is set to be built, there's a mound that she believes could be a native American campground or burial mound, a man-made hill potentially full of artifacts or remains.
The Indiana Department of Natural Resources released this statement regarding the situation:
The DNR received and approved a plan for archaeological investigations of the site. Archaeological investigations are being done by a qualified professional archaeologist who is not an employee of the DNR. The archaeologist has been in contact and coordinating with our office. We are awaiting the results of the fieldwork. Fieldwork can be a long process because of factors like weather, amount and nature of sites found, number and types of artifacts and other field conditions. Once the fieldwork is completed, laboratory analysis of the sites and artifacts has to be completed and a report written and submitted to our office for review and comment.

The private firm hired by Midwest Fertilizer is surveying and digging to make sure the land is clear, but some living in Mt. Vernon are worried about what could happen to a potential piece of Native American history.

"I feel the worst thing that could happen is that they will take these test plots, go and test and say it's good. The mound is free of any burial, then they come in and bring heavy machinery in and the next thing you know you've got bones, bodies and artifacts scattered everywhere," says Lance Wolfe, a Mt. Vernon resident.

14 News did reach out to a representative for Midwest Fertilizer and the private firm that's surveying the land to find out if they have discovered anything while analyzing the land, but did not hear back.

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