Thursday, January 01, 2009

Nashville doctor gives a gift of Native American history in Tennessee

I heard about this area years ago but I have yet to see it. I look forward to the opportunity that allows us all to see it so much easier. When I visit I will take some pictures and video to share with you all. Thanks to Dr. Arthur Cushman for making this possible. This should be treasured for generations to come.

Below is a story from the Tennessean newspaper about Mound Bottom and Dr. Cushman.


Dr. Arthur Cushman couldn't stand the idea that most people couldn't get to a place where ancient tribes once built a thriving civilization along the Harpeth River.

So Cushman bought the 65 acres leading to Mound Bottom, guaranteeing that visitors will have access to the 1,000-year-old earthworks that the state has preserved for decades.

"I believe, as Chief Seattle said, 'We belong to the Earth. The Earth does not belong to us,'" said Cushman, a Nashville neurologist with a lifelong passion for Indian culture and history.

Until Cushman made the purchase, it was difficult for anyone to get onto the property to marvel at the mounds that ancient tribes built up, one basketful of earth at a time, until they towered overhead.

By buying the gateway property, Cushman ensured that future visitors will enter it surrounded by undisturbed woods and wildlife and the remains of dozens of smaller mounds and fortifications.

"This area is still considered sacred," he said. "The earth is sacred, the trees are sacred."
Tennessee's state naturalist emeritus Mack Prichard agreed. Prichard participated in earlier excavations at Mound Bottom after the state bought the site in 1972.

"These places are very rare and unfortunately, bulldozers have been at work on most of them," he said.

Visitors to Mound Bottom can stand on the site and see a view that is not all that different from the world the mound builders knew 1,000 years ago.

Read the entire story in the Tennessean newspaper.

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