Historic artifact found during construction of Carmel roundabout

CARMEL, Ind. – The City of Carmel says a historic artifact was recently found during the construction of one of its roundabout.

Officials have identified the object as a banner stone that could be over 4,000 years old. It’s believed to be from the archaic period. They are commonly found around Indiana, Ohio and Michigan.

The City says banner stones are thought to have been used for a variety of purposes. Some suggest they were used for throwing spears while others believe they were used for drilling or fire-making.

Josh Kirsh, an engineering administrator for the City, reportedly found the stone at the edge of the roundabout project near 136th Street and Gray Road on June 29. It appeared to be on top of spoil piles left over when a utility company did preliminary work, which included digging a trench about five-feet deep.

The City says it immediately notified DNR because Indiana law requires that no work take place within 100 feet of the location of a find until the incident is investigated for evidence of further historically significant finds. After searching the area and examining the job site, archaeologist reportedly felt this was an “isolated find” and nothing else needed to be done unless more objects are found.

“If we should find something else, then we will need to be back in contact with them,” said City Engineer Jeremy Kashman. “The contractor should be back to work today (Monday) prepping for sub-grade stabilization to take place on Wednesday.  With the heavy rains on Friday the crew was not on site Saturday so we were able to avoid delays.”

The roundabout project at 136th and Gray is expected to be completed by early August.