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Rock Fight Has Kentucky And Ohio At Odds

By: Denny Trease
By: Denny Trease

A big battle is brewing between Kentucky and Ohio, and it's all over a boulder. Indian Head Rock was pulled from the Ohio River and is now on display in the Buckeye state. But Kentucky officials held a news conference in Frankfort today to say the rock belongs to the Commonwealth.

Since the Ohio River was dammed about 100 years ago, Indian Head Rock has been relegated to its murky depths, but Dr. George Carrothers of the UK Anthropology Department says, "Kentucky owns any property to the low water mark on the north shore of the river. Since, Indian Head Rock was located under water near the south shore, it is property of the Commonwealth of Kentucky.

While admitting there is no conclusive proof that any of the carvings on the 8 ton boulder were done by native Americans, members of the Kentucky Native American Heritage Commission told the media today removal of Indian Head Rock from the Ohio River represented theft of cultural property.

Dr. David Pollack of the Commission told 27 NEWSFIRST, "Ohio should not get to keep and benefit from stolen property."

Kentucky State Representative Reginald Meeks wrote a resolution asking Ohio to return the rock, and to those who would argue this is much ado about nothing because if Ohioan Steve Shaffer hadn't brought the rock to the surface, it would have remained on the river bottom forever, never to be seen by a single Kentuckian, Meeks says, "Perhaps the artifact's greatest significance has been lost. That is the opportunity to preserve it in place and interpret it to the public in its original setting. Removal of Indian Head Rock is tantamount to someone from Kentucky traveling to Ohio and digging up native American remains or burial property and bringing those artifacts back across the river."

Officials said it was simply a coincidence that the news conference about the rock was scheduled for the same time an Indiana Jones movie about stolen antiquities is playing all across the country.


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