Bodies Under Neyland

#1
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#1
I've seen this mentioned on here a few times so I thought I'd give a little added history that few are aware of.

We all know the famous line by Kathy Bates in the Blind Side regarding bodies buried under the stadium. That was a reference to the fact that during that time the boxes of bones from the Body Farm that had been decayed and cleaned were stored in cardboard boxes in offices in Neyland. That is no longer the case. In 2017 all of the bones were removed from Neyland and moved to the new Strong Hall. In fact, several times a year they are called on to remove a box of bones so famiies can come visit the remains of their loved ones who generously donated their bodies to science.

That is not where the story originated.

In 1919 construction for what is now Ayres Hall was begun. Shortly after construction began, Brown Ayres, the university president died. His successor began a campaign to have the new administrative building to be named after Ayres.

Before that construction began, because the original building was much smaller, approximately 6 feet had to be removed from the top of The HIll. Roughly 150,000 cubic feet had to be reomved and displaced. Its landing place was the area where Shields Watkins Field and the bleachers along side was also under construction. During the excavation process, on the NW section of the HIll, 6 sets of human remains were found. The bodies were generally considered to be that of 6 Union soldiers who died during the battle of Knoxville. With forensic archeology not being what it is today, little more was done. The assumption was made, however, that there may have been bones of other bodies caught up in the excavations and dumped on the field without anyone knowing it. Without doubt there were fragments of bones and pieces that were not thoroughly searched seeing it was 1919. Some of that would doubtless remain to this day.

Thus began the story that there were bodies buried under Neyland. That assumption, at least to some small degree, is no doubt entirely accurate.

There you have it. The rest of the story.
 
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#4

Volosaurus rex

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#4
I've see this mentioned on here a few times so I thought I'd give a little added history that few are aware of.

We all know the famous line by Kathy Bates in the Blind Side regarding bodies buried under the stadium. That was a reference to the fact that during that time the boxes of bones from the Body Farm that had been decayed and cleaned were stored in cardboard boxes in offices in Neyland. That is no longer the case. In 2017 all of the bones were removed from Neyland and moved to the new Strong Hall. In fact, several times a year they are called on to remove a box of bones so famiies can come visit the remains of their loved ones who generously donated their bodies to science.

That is not where the story originated.

In 1919 construction for what is now Ayers Hall was begun. Shortly after construction began, Brown Ayers, the university president died. His successor began a campaign to have the new administrative building to be named after Ayers.

Before that construction began, because the original building was much smaller, approximately 6 feet had to be removed from the top of The HIll. Roughly 150,000 cubic feet had to be reomved and displaced. Its landing place was the area where Shields Watkins Field and the bleachers along side was also under construction. During the excavation process, on the NW section of the HIll, 6 sets of human remains were found. The bodies were generally considered to be that of 6 Union soldiers who died during the battle of Knoxville. With forensic archeology not being what it is today, little more was done. The assumption was made, however, that there may have been bones of other bodies caught up in the excavations and dumped on the field without anyone knowing it. Without doubt there were fragments of bones and pieces that were not thoroughly searched seeing it was 1919. Some of that would doubtless remain to this day.

Thus began the story that there were bodies buried under Neyland. That assumption, at least to some small degree, is no doubt entirely accurate.

There you have it. The rest of the story.

I don't know what their repatriation status has been subsequent to completion of my graduate study in Anthropology during the 1990s, but significant collections of Arikara skeletal remains, which were acquired in the course of archaeological excavations, also were then stored in the Anthropology Dept., which was, at that time, located in Neyland Stadium.
 
#5

robow

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#5
I've see this mentioned on here a few times so I thought I'd give a little added history that few are aware of.

We all know the famous line by Kathy Bates in the Blind Side regarding bodies buried under the stadium. That was a reference to the fact that during that time the boxes of bones from the Body Farm that had been decayed and cleaned were stored in cardboard boxes in offices in Neyland. That is no longer the case. In 2017 all of the bones were removed from Neyland and moved to the new Strong Hall. In fact, several times a year they are called on to remove a box of bones so famiies can come visit the remains of their loved ones who generously donated their bodies to science.

That is not where the story originated.

In 1919 construction for what is now Ayers Hall was begun. Shortly after construction began, Brown Ayers, the university president died. His successor began a campaign to have the new administrative building to be named after Ayers.

Before that construction began, because the original building was much smaller, approximately 6 feet had to be removed from the top of The HIll. Roughly 150,000 cubic feet had to be reomved and displaced. Its landing place was the area where Shields Watkins Field and the bleachers along side was also under construction. During the excavation process, on the NW section of the HIll, 6 sets of human remains were found. The bodies were generally considered to be that of 6 Union soldiers who died during the battle of Knoxville. With forensic archeology not being what it is today, little more was done. The assumption was made, however, that there may have been bones of other bodies caught up in the excavations and dumped on the field without anyone knowing it. Without doubt there were fragments of bones and pieces that were not thoroughly searched seeing it was 1919. Some of that would doubtless remain to this day.

Thus began the story that there were bodies buried under Neyland. That assumption, at least to some small degree, is no doubt entirely accurate.

There you have it. The rest of the story.
There is still room for one more! Did you here that Lane Kiffin ?
 
#9
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#9
Great story. I had Dr. Bass and always think of him when I think of the bones. Didn't know they'd been moved to Strong. Thanks for sharing.
A couple of years ago, my daughter (16 at the time) had an interest in Dr. Bass' work and he and his wife were kind enough to take her to lunch at Lakeside Grill.
 
#10
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#10
In 1899, during the building of Barbara Blount Hall, eight skeletons of Union soldiers were discovered. The remains were transferred to the National Cemetery in Knoxville to marked, but unidentified, graves. An additional six skeletons were found just west of Barbara Blount Hall, below the driveway, in 1919 during excavation for steam pipes to heat Ayres Hall. While the remains could not be identified, they were believed also to be those of Union soldiers killed during the Battle of Knoxville. The remains were reinterred in the National Cemetery.
Graves on Campus - Volopedia
 
#13
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#13
A couple of years ago, my daughter (16 at the time) had an interest in Dr. Bass' work and he and his wife were kind enough to take her to lunch at Lakeside Grill.
According to the books I've read there were 813 Confedreates and 13 Union killed. I think the Union may have shorted their count considerably for political reasons.
 
#14
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#14
One of The General's popular sayings was, "Boys, when you get to going, don't stop until you reach the checkerboards (on Ayers Hall, which in those days was a clear and open shot from the field) and when you get there, run all the way back."

Dickey heard of this in the 60s and it was his inspiration for the checkerboard end zones.
 
#16

WillisWG

I don't like radicals left or right!
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#16
One of The General's popular sayings was, "Boys, when you get to going, don't stop until you reach the checkerboards (on Ayers Hall, which in those days was a clear and open shot from the field) and when you get there, run all the way back."

Dickey heard of this in the 60s and it was his inspiration for the checkerboard end zones.
Ayres Hall celebrating it's 100 year, simply amazing. Ayres Hall at the Dawn of Two Centuries – Torchbearer (utk.edu)

Dickey added some great traditions! T on the helmet, checkerboard endzones
 
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#19

DC_Vol

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#19
One of The General's popular sayings was, "Boys, when you get to going, don't stop until you reach the checkerboards (on Ayers Hall, which in those days was a clear and open shot from the field) and when you get there, run all the way back."

Dickey heard of this in the 60s and it was his inspiration for the checkerboard end zones.
Awesome…I never knew this.
 
#22
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#22
Ayres Hall celebrating it's 100 year, simply amazing. Ayres Hall at the Dawn of Two Centuries – Torchbearer (utk.edu)

Dickey added some great traditions! T on the helmet, checkerboard endzones, Vol Walk
The Vol walk was acutally added by John in 1990. He was inspired by Auburn's Tiger Walk and felt it would be a great idea if we had a similar pep rally at Neyland. It began October 20, third Saturday in October against Alabama. It was a 6/9 loss.
 

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