13,000 year old Native American artifacts found in Franklin Co. in direct path of MVP

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FRANKLIN CO. (WSLS 10) -New Native American artifacts dating back almost 13,000 years have been found in Franklin County, directly in the path of the proposed Mountain Valley Pipeline.

Broken piece of soap stone pottery discovered on site in Franklin County.
Broken piece of soap stone pottery discovered on site in Franklin County.

The historic artifacts were found on the property belonging to Dale Angle of Franklin County.

They include pieces of pottery, arrow heads, chip stone axes, cooking utensils and other tools from the paleo period that belonged to people in a Native American village.

Matt Joyner, the man behind the discovery, says the Mountain Valley Pipeline would destroy the site.

"All the history at this particular village would be lost. It's as though if tearing out a couple of chapters from the bible and then reinterpreting them," Joyner said. "Once the bulldozer blade hits the ground, that information is lost forever. You can never get it back again."

Joyner says even in the unlikely chance that all artifacts could be recovered, without understanding how deep and where they were placed, they would be almost impossible to understand.

"Archaeology is about depth and placement in the soil in order to be able to date where items are recovered," Joyner said.

Arrowhead found in dig.
Arrowhead found in dig.

Joyner says they have tried working with the Mountain Valley Pipeline to ensure these artifacts are saved, but the pipeline will not cooperate with their environmental efforts.

"We tried to work with them in a direct manner," Joyner said. "Instead of finding a way around these sites they want to go right through them."

The environmental impact study from FERC is expected to be released any day.

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