Indian Mounds fenced again at LSU

Baton Rouge, Louisiana (AP) October 2010

LSU started fencing off the historic Indian Mounds on football game days starting last week, the university said recently.

The decision comes in the wake of football fans and tailgaters ignoring ropes and signs the past two weeks and climbing on the mounds, officially called the LSU Mounds.

Last week, some children used signs reading, “Please do not slide on the mounds” and “Help preserve the mounds,” as makeshift sleds on the mounds.

The LSU administration ordered the ropes removed last week for safety reasons.

After meeting with LSU archaeologists and anthropologists this week, the administration decided to erect temporary fencing that would be removed after each football game day.

“It’s fantastic that the entire LSU administration and faculty and students are combined in support for the preservation of the mounds,” said Patrick Hesp, LSU geography and anthropology department chairman.

The mounds were made by prehistoric American Indian tribes. At 6,000 years of age, they are older than the Egyptian pyramids. The mounds are believed to have been used for ceremonial and marking-point purposes.

Hesp insisted the fencing is only needed on game days when the overflow crowds lead to too many people trudging on the mounds at once. Such heavy traffic can cause permanent damage to the mounds, he said.

Early in the week, LSU faculty had complained they felt abandoned when the university administration opted to remove the ropes and poles protecting the mounds.

“Everything is turned around,” said Heather McKillop, LSU professor and chairwoman of the Louisiana Archaeological Survey and Antiquities Commission. “LSU is on board.”

Herb Vincent, LSU associate vice chancellor for communications, said the university has always supported the preservation of the mounds.

Vincent said LSU Police will make occasional checks by the mounds and tell people to leave if they attempt to climb over or knock down the fencing.

LSU faculty and graduate students have tailgated by the mounds the past two weeks handing out educational literature on their historical significance.

Marc Massom, the LSU graduate student organizing the tailgating, said he is “extremely happy” the university is offering more support.