History Plotted Before Old Natchez Trace Improvements
By Chris Cannon
WILLIAMSON COUNTY, Tenn. - A crew has been at a property on Old Natchez Trace for much of the week, plotting the historical artifacts buried in the historic area.
The archeologists from New South Associates, out Stone Mountain, GA, were hired by a private land owner to map the history, underground.
"It's one of the largest sites of its type in the region," said Sarah Lowry.
She, and another associate, used a ground-penetrating radar to look down into the ground that holds so much history.
"We didn't destroy anything, and that's kind of the beauty of it, nothing was hurt in the process," Lowry explained.
After the radar images are recorded, the two archeologists plotted the land to map out where they took images underground. They will translate that information into a report after it is analyzed in their lab.
"A lot of people are probably buried here, and that's really important for preservation, we want to respect the people who came before us," said Lowry.
The work took place several months before construction to restore the Old Natchez Trace is set to begin.
"The Old Natchez Trace is the oldest, still operational road, in the United States, built in 1801," explained Laura Turner. She is an advocate for the roadway.
Williamson County will start work to narrow and repave the original section of the roadway.
"Parts that have been widened and brutalized will be pulled back to the original footprint of the road," Turner explained.
A tree canopy between Lawrence Road and Temple Road will also be replaced, after it was removed many years ago.
"It will be like traveling back in time," Turner said. "This is Williamson County's national treasure."
Work on Old Natchez Trace is expected to start in March.