Tuesday, June 9, 2009

RDC Invades Fort Pickering?

Posted By on Tue, Jun 9, 2009 at 12:58 PM

The Tennessee department of archaeology was in town today at the Fort Pickering site near the National Ornamental Metal Museum.

The RDC recently started work on new walkways in Chickasaw Heritage Park, which includes two Indian mounds, and they voluntarily stopped work after the state wanted to check for the presence of human bone.

"We've known about this site for a long time," said state archaeologist Mike Moore. "There's a native American presence, as well as Civil War period activity. It has a long history of human use."

The site is on the National Register of Historic Places.

Because TDOT is planning to redo the rather confusing interchange at I-55 and the French Fort neighborhood, an archaeological team recently surveyed the nearby area and found several artifacts from Fort Pickering. TDOT was required to survey the area because federal funds were being used for its project.

The RDC, since it's not using any federal funds for the project, was not.

"Our staff walked the site with the state archaeologist this morning," said RDC spokesperson Dorchelle Spence. "They found nothing of concern."

Work at the park will resume tomorrow and should be finished by the end of the month. In addition to the walking trail, the RDC is installing new benches and picnic tables.

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