News Article : Indian Mounds vs LSU Tailgaiters
- Indian Mounds ropes removed Saturday before game
By Julian Tate
Published: Sunday, September 26, 2010
BRIANNA PACIORKA / The Daily Reveille
A child slides down the Indian Mounds on Saturday on a sign reading "Help Preserve the Mounds" before the West Virginia game.
The yellow ropes blocking off the Indian Mounds during the first home football game were taken down Saturday morning after being replaced Friday.
Tailgaters continued to ride bikes and slide down the Indian Mounds on cardboard boxes before the game Saturday, despite growing concern for the historical landmarks. Signs planted around the mounds read "Help preserve the mounds."
A call was made to LSU Landscape Services to take the ropes down, said Caitlyn McNabb, an anthropology graduate student who was handing out fliers about preserving the mounds.
"All we know is that call came in at 6:30 a.m. this morning to take the ropes down. Somebody with a lot of power asked them to take the ropes down after we had the authority to put the ropes up," McNabb said.
The Department of Geology and Geophysics was allowed to keep the signs up, but children were taking the signs and using them to slide down the hill, McNabb said.
"These mounds are Native American mounds. They are about 6,000 years old and, by standing on them, the weight is destroying what's underneath," McNabb said.
The mounds are vulnerable to natural damage such as rainwater erosion, but students and faculty in the Department of Geology and Geophysics have been trying to prevent man-induced damage, such as added pressure to the structures on game days.
"We're really worried about people sliding down the hill because when people kick up little divots of dirt, they're kicking away cultural material," McNabb said.
McNabb was told she and her colleagues were not allowed to police the mounds, so McNabb and fellow tailgaters in the Department of Geology and Geophysics began handing out fliers to parents who had children on the mounds.
"It's a tradition for our kids. This is what they'll remember about LSU football - coming to the mounds and sliding down," said University alumna Anna Fontenot, an Indian Mounds tailgater who said she has taken her kids to University tailgates since they were old enough to do so.
According to the Ancient Mounds Heritage Area and Trails Advisory Commission, Louisiana has some of the oldest and best preserved Indian mounds in the world - some of which outdate the pyramids in Mexico and South America, and Stonehenge in England.