Anthropologists Unearth Ancient Artifacts At Proposed NASCAR Site On S.I.
05/13/2005 04:27 PM
A group of anthropologists have discovered artifacts possibly dating back to 10,000 B.C. at the site of a planned NASCAR track on Staten Island.
The International Speedway Corporation was hoping to build an 80,000-seat race track on land in Bloomfield that has been used as an above-ground oil tank farm for more than 70 years. The City Council has yet to vote on the proposal.
The president of the New York Institute of Anthropology says the site was once a village and home to Lenape Indian burial grounds.
"What we are opposed to is the destruction of the evidence," said Edward J. Platt of the New York Institute of Anthropology. "We want the evidence retrieved and preserved -- not for us, but for future generations -- to learn from and appreciate."
The ISC has reportedly told anthropologists that they are concerned about preserving the site and that they are willing to cooperate.
The two groups are expected to meet in the next couple of weeks.
In the meantime, a Native American powwow is scheduled to take place at the Snug Harbor Cultural Center. Artifacts and other materials excavated at the Bloomfield site will be on display Saturday and Sunday from noon until 5 p.m. The event is open to the public.
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Meanwhile, a NASCAR track may be a few years away, but residents of one Staten Island street say they already live by a speedway. People on Sandalwood Drive in Great Kills say it's not uncommon for cars to tear down the street.
In the last week alone, there were two accidents at the intersection of Sandalwood and Ironwood Street.
Residents say what the area needs is a four-way stop sign.
“It's just very, very dangerous, and on a beautiful day you can't imagine how many kids there are out here,” said one area resident. “It's a very family oriented neighborhood, all the surrounding streets, nothing but kids, and it's great place where you want to raise your children.”
“Sometimes when the kids want to play outside I have to stay outside with them, but I have to go in the middle of the street because the cars are going so fast and I have to stop them,” said a neighbor. “We have a lot of kids over here in the neighborhood.”
The city Department of Transportation says it conducted a study of the intersection in 1999 and found it did not qualify for a four-way stop.
The DOT has promised to open a new study, which it hopes to complete by the fall.
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