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Group seeks halt to Nashville ballpark construction for archaeological research

Nashville SoundsA local group is seeking to delay construction on a new Nashville Sounds (Class AAA; Pacific Coast League) ballpark to comb the area for archaeological artifacts.

This isn’t the first time construction of the ballpark in the Sulphur Dell area has been challenged by the Committee for the Preservation of Salt Town, a group researching American Indian origins in the area. The ballpark site is located on what is theorized to be Salt Town, a large American Indian embankment and one of the first settled areas in the area.

Excavation work on the site has yielded some evidence of the Salt Town embankment, leading to group leaders calling for a halt on ballpark work for up to a year while the site is further explored. But what’s been found so far is pretty thin: evidence of fire pits accompanied by other signs of people, including ceramic pans, but not human remains. Archaeology experts in the area had hoped for more: pieces left over from a former landfill, artifacts dating back to the Civil War era or Native Americans. From The Tennessean:

Bender said the archeology firm working with the ballpark had reached out to him on Thursday to set a time to meet with committee members. The group had previously waited for more than two weeks for a response after they were told they would be part of a conversation about a Native American commemoration at the finished ballpark.

To try to ensure a role in the development process, the group held a handful of protests in April and May protesting construction….

In the past, he didn’t rule out possible legal action as well.

A delay of a few weeks probably won’t cause huge problems for a 2015 opening; a delay of a year, of course, would push everything back to 2016.

RELATED STORIES: More development planned for new Sounds ballpark area; Artifacts discovered at Sulphur Dell site; History could be uncovered at new Sounds ballpark site; Nashville, Sounds break ground on new ballpark; Initial cost estimates for new Sounds ballpark come in high; New Sounds ballpark receives final approval; New Nashville Sounds ballpark moves forward; Nashville: We want to make sure there’s development with new Sounds ballpark; Nashville: We’ll save money building st Sulphur Dell; Nashville acquires land for new Sounds ballpark; Nashville contribution to new Sounds ballpark development: $65M; Nashville, Sounds reach agreement on new ballpark; Politicos: New Sounds ballpark would revitalize city core; Developer already anticipating Sulphuer Dell ballpark site; Key to new Sounds ballpark: Significant contribution from team owners; Nashville mayor: No financing plan yet for Sulphur Dell ballpark; Nashville: Bring baseball back to Sulphur Dell; Sounds extend Greer Stadium lease — but no new ballpark in sight; Sounds: We prefer East Bank for new-ballpark site; Nashville ballpark sites narrowed to three; Researching ballpark sites in Nashville; Nashville seeking community input for ballpark site; Nashville once again moving forward on new ballpark


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