Thursday, September 01, 2005


Memphis riverfront project will wait for archaeologists


August 30, 2005

MEMPHIS, Tenn. A nearly 28-(m)-million-dollar riverfront project in Memphis might have to wait while a closer look is done at the city's riverboating past.Workers expected to begin driving piles this fall for the Beale Street Landing project. But when cobblestones were pried up in a 1994 survey, a preservationist who helped conduct it says all kinds of refuse and artifacts were there -- most of them preserved because they were waterlogged.

Guy Weaver heads a cultural resources management firm. He says the site of the new project covers a potential treasure of information about the city's steamboat days.

Among artifacts found during the survey were bottles, ceramics, horseshoes and a lot of shoes. Weaver says before the cobblestones were laid, people who stepped into mud that sucked their shoes off left them there.

Weaver says if an excavation is required, it would only take a month or two. But president Benny Lendermon of nonprofit Riverfront Development Corporation says it could cause the project to miss the low-water season to drive piles and push the job back for a year.


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