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Dickson Mounds another view

Editor: I hope that your readers' intellect allows them to see through the misrepresentation both of law and opinion stated as fact, submitted by Dan Guillory ("The dilemma of Dickson Mounds," Issues, December 1990, p. 21). On what basis do you allow an English professor to expound for five pages on an archaeological issue and interpret archaeological law as if he were really qualified to do so?

I find Mr. Guillory's comparisons and interpretations manipulative, slanted and repugnant. Jewish victims of Nazism, alive or dead, were shown whatever kindness they got as a result of having endured the most brutal treatment ever inflicted on any culture. Prehistoric North Americans endured no such depredations by white hands.

Will the genetic research Mr. Guillory refers to be carried on to the logical conclusion that all humanity shares a common origin? This would agree with the basic tenets of most religions, including, I believe, Native American. Were this the case, contemporary tribes would have no better claim to prehistoric remains than their white brethren.

Mr. Guillory's interpretation of P.L. 95-341 is accurate only when applied to historic remains, and then only with verification of lineage. As for the suggestion that this fiasco be memorialized at Dickson Mounds Museum, I have a better idea. Let's give the Indian activists their own TV station and newspaper. Then they'll have what they really want, and Illinois tax dollars won't be spent commemorating the most absurd coup ever attempted against the scientific community.

Dan Calvert

Readers: Your comments on articles and columns are welcome. Please keep letters brief (250 words); we reserve the right to excerpt them so as many as space allows can be published. Send your letters to

Caroline Gherardini, Editor
Illinois Issues
Sangamon State University
Springfield, Illinois 62794-9243

April 1991/Illinois Issues/9

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