LSU Indian mounds to be fenced off on game days

Published: Oct. 1, 2010 at 10:21 PM CDT|Updated: Oct. 6, 2010 at 7:06 AM CDT
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By Tyana Williams - bio | email

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Should the Indian mounds at LSU be off-limits?  Some say tailgaters are causing them to deteriorate and actually sink.

Professor Brooks Ellwood says for archeological purposes, LSU's Indian mounds need to be preserved.

"Probably the oldest or certainly near the oldest mounds in the United States still in existence," said Ellwood.  "So they're about six thousand years old."

He says one practice is putting them in danger: kids using them for pre-game fun.

For 15 years, Drew LeBlanc has tailgated near the mounds.  "Kids love to do, they love to slide," said LeBlanc.  "I mean half aren't sliding.  Most are throwing the football and playing tag."  He says it's a place where kids congregate and it can't be harming the mounds that badly.

The university says otherwise.

"The whole thing is collapsing," said Ellwood.  He says two years ago, they found out the mound was seriously deteriorating.  He says years of weight has caused the mound to slide and visibly scar.

"It's especially amplified when it's heavily loaded and when you get a lot of vibration," said Ellwood.  "And that's on game day."

LSU's administration tried keeping tailgaters out with signs and rope.  Now they've resorted to using temporary fencing that will be up for all home games to keep people off the Indian mound.

"I don't see how just seven days a year really can do damage," said LeBlanc.

Ellwood says think of it as preserving art.  "If it's a Matisse hanging in a museum, you don't want people coming along and rubbing their hands on it," he explained.

Ellwood says they hope to start an archeological excavation of the Indian mounds at the beginning of the year to find out exactly what they represent.

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