Priceless artifacts, prehistoric site endangered by rising river

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SPIRO, Okla. – Volunteers have been working overtime to save precious artifacts as the rising Arkansas River encroaches on the Spiro Mounds, Oklahoma’s only open prehistoric, American Indian site.

Officials say some of the mounds, which align with the sun on the equinoxes, may be underwater by the weekend.

The water is also expected to completely submerge the Archaeological Center building.

Volunteers from around the state worked all day Friday evacuating priceless artifacts.

“We got the word from the Corp and the sheriff’s office that in six hours that it was going to be in the property and probably eventually going over the building,” Dennis Peterson, Spiro Mounds Manager told KFSM. “The historical society and some of our member sites have joined together to come in and help us try to pack everything and hopefully praying that it doesn’t wipe everything out.”

Crews believe they will have all the artifacts loaded up in time, as the waters were expected to arrive on the 150-acre historical site Friday night.

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