The Winter 2012 (Vol. 16, No. 4) edition of “MTSU Magazine” features “Shell Shocked” — a story about the erosion and looting of the Middle Cumberland River shell midden sites after the May 2012 floods. The article’s author, Allison Gorman, is to be congratulated on conveying the seriousness and urgency of the situation. Archaeologists, government agencies, affected descendant groups, and concerned citizens need to raise the public awareness for the drastic loss of our shared history — this article, with the widespread distribution of the magazine and diverse readership, is an amazing start.
The next step for the project is to focus on fundraising. We need to better document several of the shell midden sites so we can understand exactly what is there — both horizontally and vertically — so we can better protect it. We will begin processing radiocarbon samples over the next few weeks, and collecting further information over the next few months. Our ultimate goal is to have as many of these sites as possible listed on the National Register of Historic Places. This gives them one more added layer of protection and places them into the national memory.
If you would like to know more about our on-going efforts towards education and preservation, please sign up for “Research Updates.”
If you would like to donate to the project, please contact me at tperesATmtsu.edu.