BROOKFIELD (CBS) – UMass researchers are hoping a recent archaeological dig can put the central Massachusetts town of Brookfield in the National Register of Historic Places.

Archaeologists say they’ve found further evidence of an ancient Native American burial ground belonging to the Adena people, a culture that existed 1,000 to 2,000 years ago in Ohio.

Eric Johnson, director of archaeological services at UMass-Amherst, says the Adena were among the first to bury their dead in burial mounds here.

“Some Adena artifacts were found in the 1960’s when graves were removed from this site,” Johnston told WBZ NewsRadio 1030.

brookfield Ancient Burial Ground Could Put Brookfield In National Register Of Historic Places

Jill Zuckerman (left) and Alexander Honsinger (right) of UMass Archaeological Services remove a layer of surface fill at the Brooklfield site. (Photo credit: Tim Barker – UMass Archaeological Services)

For this dig, centered on the former Tobin Campground, no remains were found. But researchers have determined there is evidence of more graves.

“It should be recognized as a special place, a sacred place, a historically significant place,” said Johnson.

With that recognition may come some money to help preserve the site.

“It makes the town of Brookfield eligible for certain grants that may help them do things like help to protect the site further,” he told WBZ.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Jeff Brown reports

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