- Associated Press - Tuesday, March 24, 2015

YORKTOWN, Ind. (AP) - A national nonprofit has acquired a 2,000-year-old Native American earthwork in east-central Indiana from a real estate developer.

The Star Press (https://tspne.ws/1GQNMgQ ) reports Larry New agreed to sell the property encompassing the Yorktown Enclosure earthwork to the Archaeological Conservancy, which is based in New Mexico. The nonprofit paid $20,000 for land appraised at more than $200,000.

Paul Gardner, Midwest director of the conservancy, called the site “rare and significant.” It sits between Muncie and Yorktown on land zoned as agricultural, rural residential and commercial.

“Usually prime commercial real estate is priced beyond what we can realistically afford,” Gardner said. “When the importance of the site was explained to Mr. New, he was very agreeable to our acquiring it for an archaeological preserve and accepted our first offer of a purchase price.”

The conservancy says earthwork enclosures resemble defensive structures, with a circular ditch and soil built up around them. Most archaeologists believe they were used as ceremonial sites meant to separate activities inside from the outside world.

In the time the Yorktown Enclosure was made between 250 B.C. and A.D. 350, American Indians in the area formed small circular earthworks and sizable burial mounds. The Yorktown Enclosure site has potential for research, with the interior of the circle and original wall still intact.

The conservancy has more than 475 sites in 44 states, including four others in Indiana.

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Information from: The Star Press, https://www.thestarpress.com


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