Native American burial mound to be incorporated into Missouri neighborhood

Posted: Dec. 12, 2016 4:13 pm

A developer is preserving and incorporating a Native American burial mound into a neighborhood development project.

Mike Tompkins bought property west of Columbia and discovered the 80-foot-long mound on the property, the Columbia Missourian ( ) reported.

Tompkins said the burial was discovered after city officials started questioning what the mound was as he planned the 91-acre subdivision.

"There was a hump there, and of course I've always known some of the lore that those could be Indian mounds," Tompkins said.

Anthropology professor Michael O'Brien surveyed the site and said it dates back to sometime between 450 A.D. and 750 A.D. According to O'Brien, the tribal affiliation can't be determined.

O'Brien, as well as Columbia College forensic science professor Stephanie Golda, said while it's unlikely any of the human remains are preserved in the mound, it's not entirely impossible due to the structure of this particular mound.

Tompkins wanted to preserve the site and has decided to incorporate it into a planned green space in the neighborhood he's developing, which will be called Breckenridge Park. Plans also call for a trail system to run near the mound.

The mound site won't be developed by Tompkins, but there is a possibility that crews might uncover indigenous artifacts.

"There's a moderate chance that we'll find arrowheads or things like that anywhere on the property," Tompkins said. He added that any artifacts found will be donated to the University of Missouri.

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