Ancient Native American burial mounds get state historical marker

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The ancient Native American burial mounds near Franklin’s Westhaven subdivision will get a state historical marker this weekend.

Ancient Native American burial mounds get state historical marker
MTSU anthropology student Mark M. Crawford carefully excavates one of two ancient Indian
 burial sites in Franklin’s Westhaven community in 2013. The dirt he removes is then 
sifted through a screen by Zack Whitehead and Elizabeth Glass, at left 
[Credit: Steven S. Harman/The Tennessean]

Officials from Westhaven developer Southern Land Co. and state historical experts will officially unveil the new sign at 11 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 20.

Historians believe Woodland Indians built four burial mounds around 200 A.D. in a spot that today adjoins the Westhaven Golf Course near Highway 96 West.

Only two of the four burial mounds remain today. The largest mound stands about 20 feet tall.

The mounds were considered a sacred site by Native Americans who once buried their dead and their loved ones’ belongings in the mounds, experts say.

Archaeologists and historians named the mounds the Glass Mounds after the property’s former owner, Samuel F. Glass, who lived on the property in the 1800s.

Through the years, archaeologists and others have excavated Native American antiquities from the mounds.

Three items have been kept at Harvard University’s Peabody Museum of American Archeology and Ethnology since 1878-79.

Experts say the largest remaining Glass Mound is the largest Native American burial mound east of the 72-foot-tall mound at Pinson Mounds, a state archaeological park near Jackson, Tenn.

Volunteers cleaned up the site in 2012, and Middle Tennessee State University students performed a small-scale excavation of a portion of the site in 2013.

Southern Land Co. officials and state historical officials protected the mounds from future potential development by finalizing an easement in 2012 to protect them.

Author: Kevin Walters | Source: The Tennessean [September 15, 2014]

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