Indian remains reported found at Oxford site

Oxford, Alabama (AP) Jan. 2010

The remains of an American Indian reportedly have been found and reburied at an Oxford construction site where a professor recently discovered that an ancient Indian mound has been destroyed.

State archaeologist Stacye Hathorn told The Anniston Star that University of Alabama archaeologists contacted her around Jan. 8 with word that the remains were found at a site where Oxford is building a sports complex.

“UA called, said they found a body, said it was Native American, said it was reburied and the site is being avoided,” Hathorn said.

University archaeologists have been monitoring the site, where construction began last year. Hathorn, who works for the Alabama Historical Commission, said the call was the only one she has received from the monitors.

Jacksonville State University professor of archaeology and anthropology Harry Holstein said the land in the vicinity of the sports complex construction contains remnants of an American Indian village and a temple mound that once was 30 feet tall. The 3-foot base of the mound was intact when he visited the site last summer, but had been flattened when he returned this week.

The Star said city officials claim the mound is still intact, but the newspaper reported Thursday there is no evidence of the mound left.

City project manager Fred Denney said he had no knowledge of the discovery of Indian remains at the sports complex site. He said he did not know when a report to the city from the university archaeologists would be completed.

He said the city did not want to disturb any remains at the site.