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Northampton and DOT Delay - Temporarily - the Demolition of a Unique Ancient Site

Updated: Feb 12, 2021

In the midst of pandemic, there's been trouble brewing in Northampton since early last year over the planned demolition of a unique Indigenous heritage site that was recommended for National Register of Historic Places status. Nayyag is a place rich with Native heritage sites where two points bend the Connecticut River between today's Northampton and Hadley, Massachusetts. Nayyag comes from "naia" = pointed and "ak" = land, and is the Native Nolwottog - Lashawe Nipmuk name for a place of villages, fishing camps, and landings from at least 10,000 years ago until the mid 1600's. But DOT, with contributed funds and support from the City of Northampton, is destroying a Native heritage site 8,000 - 10,000 years old - and "one of a kind." All for a traffic circle that could be a stoplight instead. This is yet another demolition of a series of heritage sites; last year, a site going back about 8,000 years was demolished for another traffic circle. Find out more on the "TODAY IN MA" page, here at MEAS.

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More than 50,000 people signed a petition to stop this destruction. It's avoidable 100%. Because of the uproar, DOT suspended public comment and delayed demolition, but they plan to being again - at an undisclosed point. :(

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