Licking schools construction delayed after artifacts found on property

Local News

Ten-thousand-year-old arrowheads are just one of several hundred artifacts found on a construction site in Licking County. 

Crews found hundreds of items on the site of what will be the new Watkins Memorial High School.  Crews found nearly 300 pieces in this field.

Snyder-point arrowheads thought to be 1,000 years old were found in the field as crews initially worked to build two new schools. 

Superintendent Bob Jennell said they had to study the land before they could continue building. 

“We felt it very necessary to carry those studies out before we put a building on that land,” said Jennell.

Superintendent Jennell said the Southwest Licking School district is in the process of building the new Watkins Memorial High School and an elementary school.

“The land out there is wetlands and in order to get the approval to build, we need to get the land looked at in regards to clearance,” said Jennell.

Archaeologists dug the grounds of the property off of Route 49 and SmokeRoad in Etna. 

Jennell said a historic assessment has to happen and the district needs an Army Corps of Engineers permit. 

The district hired archeologists.

Crews found 10-thousand-year-old tools from the Paleoindian Period and items from the 20th century. 

Andy Sewell is one of the archeologists on the project. 

“We found bits of old broken glasses and dishes. We found lots of horseshoes, which was interesting,” said Sewell.

The district will preserve the wetlands and incorporate a trail so kids can learn about nature. The district expects construction on the new schools to be delayed by several months.

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