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Oct 1, 2010 11:36 AM by AP

LSU announces fencing will go around mounds

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - LSU will start fencing off the historic
Indian Mounds on football game days starting Saturday, the
university said Thursday.
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 Saturday
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 on Saturday 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.

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