Indian Burial and Sacred Grounds Watch



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Shallow Bluff Island, Tennessee

See latest update at bottom of page.

The Issue

The SEAL (South Eastern Anti-desecration League) web site carries this page which details what has been going on at Shallow Bluff Island, Tennessee. (You may need to go to the SEAL site and locate the Shallow Bluff Island link on the page.) Located in Hardin County, Tennessee, the island contains "a well-known late prehistoric site component investigated by C.B. Moore -- including at least one large platform mound, one burial mound, a large earthwork, and a substantial habitation area." A large-scale development has begun on the island which is rumored to be associated with possible casino gambling ventures on the Tennessee River.

An initial correspondence reads, "The landowner/developer has apparently indicated on numerous occasions that the two mounds and earthworks will be preserved as part of the development."

But then step forward to this May 10 2000 update and you have, "The state of Tennessee has slapped a Lexington developer with $235,464 in fines and expenses for ignoring federal and state agencies while allowing a prehistoric site to wash into the Tennessee River."

Step forward again to June 27, 2000 and you have, "One enforcement case that has received considerable attention is the development on Swallow Bluff Island. Two corporations in the process of developing Swallow Bluff Island, a 69-acre island located in Kentucky Lake at river mile 170 of the Tennessee River, have been found to be in extreme violation of state and federal law. The development will include residential lots with boat docks and an airstrip. This island is a recorded archaeological site and has been used as a Native American village and burial site since prehistoric times. The habitat surrounding the island supports several mussel species, including 3 federally listed endangered species. The corporations were notified of the presence of the endangered mussel species, the burial mounds and the permit requirements of TVA, TDEC and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. They have continued their development without the required permits and despite a Corps Cease & Desist Order. Significant erosion is now taking place as a result of the unpermitted activities."

Online Sources for Reading:

Go to the SEAL site and scroll down the page for a link to Shallowbluff.

Requested Action:

Comments on this project may be submitted to [email protected]


Contacts given at were Joe Sanders (615) 532-0131, Ken Pointer (615) 532-0229 or Nancy Kerastas. Kevin E. Smith - [email protected] - sent out to TNARCH-L list recipients the request to submit comments to the above environment address.

Update: 2001 8 Feb TN AIM had to say that "The developer seems to have pulled out facing numerous fines and law violations leaving the mound in serious danger to erosion."

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