Grand Parkway Will Pile on the Dead

GRAND PARKWAY WILL PILE ON THE DEAD An agreement between TxDOT, the Harris County Historical Commission, and 5 Native American tribes over what to do with the prehistoric human remains unearthed in the prairie highway’s path will allow construction of the Grand Parkway Segment E to continue — with only a bump in the road: “Under the agreement, TxDOT will fill the excavated areas and cover them with rip rap, creating a permanent burial site near where the road would cross Cypress Creek, about three miles south of U.S. 290.” The reburial might confuse future anthropologists, though: “[UH professor of anthropology Kenneth] Brown expressed frustration over TxDOT’s handling of the site, saying crews saved some artifacts but ruined the area for richer study. The agency’s crews scraped and sifted mechanically instead of digging by hand. ‘When you scrape, you will find things, but you won’t be able to see how they were associated,’ Brown said. ‘That is a shame because we do not know what people were doing 10,000 to 14,000 years ago, and we won’t know now.’” [Houston Chronicle; previously on Swamplot] Photo of gravesite: abc13

16 Comment

  • If it’s near 290, the ancient Texans were probably stuck in traffic.

  • Dr. Brown… that would be true if this was the ONLY place where prehistoric remains were in the entire world… however I’m sure there are plenty of remains (perhaps in the land just off from the highway even) that are just sitting there waiting for you to examine/study. Maybe assemble a on call team that can quickly dig by hand for the next time this thing happens.

  • “Bring out yer dead!”

  • The reburial might confuse future anthropologists, though: “[UH professor of anthropology Kenneth] Brown expressed frustration over TxDOT’s handling of the site, saying crews saved some artifacts but ruined the area for richer study.

    Well Dr Brown, you should have been out there digging by hand while all of this was playing out in court!

  • Wah – I don’t think many folks really care what the indians were doing 14000 years ago. I doubt anyone is willing to sit in traffic and construction for a longer period of time so that some anthropologist can add something to a book that only other anthropologist will read.

  • Digging by hand is sissy. Stop being such a wimp. Roads benefit everybody, not just cloistered academics. There are other 10,000-year-old burial sites in the world, just go to like Africa or something, you can learn all you want there. Where were YOU when those road crews were digging the bones up, smart guy? You’re probably one of these global warming people who thinks Texas is getting hotter and drier every year.

    -average Houston mentality

  • Caneco, you’re wrong. A previous news story said this is literally the ONLY burial site with more than one individual dating from that time period. It would fill a gap in our knowledge. Or, it would have. Now it never will.

  • Yes we do know what people were doing 10,000 years ago. Basically it’s the same thing we are doing today. Making and raising children, trying to feed our family, and working to have safety, shelter, and clothing.

  • Sara, you are wrong. It is the only one that has been uncovered, and that was by pure dumb luck. To state that this was the only one in the entire country is plainly ignorant. They had plenty of time to hand dig while the court case was going on, maybe not enough for a full study, but they definitely could have got some solid research in.

  • Who cares about our human heritage and history? There is Nat’l Geographic and PBS for that. We got a g-damned freeway to build.

  • This isn’t a joke. This is knowledge about the migration of Native peoples that’s important, and it’s going to be destroyed for absolutely no good reason. Why couldn’t TxDot bridge over this area with minimal piers? so that archaeology could proceed? Or detour the road?

    If this is how you treat history – the First Texans – then what do people nowadays think anyone will ever remember about them or their own lives or culture – Jack Shit is what, and Jack Shit is all our time, and our people, and our present day Texans deserve.

  • If you want people to remember you.. build some pyramids or something.

  • Caneco, nobody was given permission to excavate the site by hand or they would have. There are surely more group burials… somewhere. But this is the ONLY one that has been found. A complete loss of information. You may not care about the history of human beings but many people do, it’s not fair to deprive us all of the knowledge of our history.

  • Wow! thank god we Texan’s don’t populate Europe. We would have plowed down the Coliseum, Forum, and a few other places to build a freeway. But I guess those places have no value after all. Who cares what the Roman’s were doing? Oh, that’s right, they were Roman’s, not plain old American Indians that didn’t realize they had to build a Texas version of Rome to be remembered or worthwhile. Geez, how disrespectful.

  • You wonder what they were doing? I can tell you what they were doing. Same as man has done since day 1, procreate, hunt, eat, shelter, tools. It’s been the same for neanderthals, indians, romans, or any other race or nationality. I wouldn’t build a house over those remains though, I’ve seen too many movies about that stuff.

  • There is absolutely nothing there that can be gained from some welfare project for archeologist to sift and dig by hand for 15 years. If they are all that concerned, why dont they move about 50 feet east or west and do their project on their own dime?