Workers recently uncovered a Native American gravesite while grading land for Macon County’s new multi-million dollar recreation complex.
County officials and members of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians met Friday at the property to discuss what to do with the human remains.
“There are a lot of graves in this territory. As we come upon them, we have to deal with them on an individual basis,” said Chief Michell Hicks for the EBCI.
The remains are situated where a ball field is planned.
Archaeologists believe the remains are those of a Cherokee and could date back to the 1400s.
It has been a long-standing policy of the EBCI to leave any cultural artifacts undisturbed.
“I think that is our responsibility,” Hicks said.
While construction is already underway, officials must now decide what to do on the $3 million Parker Meadows Park project.
“But at the same time, we want to be respectful to the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians and their history,” says Kevin Corbin, chair of Macon County Board of Commissioners.
The county is discussing a few different options including, relocating the ball field, dig the gravesite deeper or move it.
Officials say it’s a tough decision and one that will have to be made soon if construction is to remain on-schedule.