A 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.
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