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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A Kentucky firm is being fined more than $15,000 for illegally excavating national park lands in Tennessee and removing century-old Native American relics.

The Tennessean reported Thursday that Cultural Resources Analysts Inc. also has to return the artifacts. The company was hired by developer Rockford Realty and Construction Co. to complete archaeological testing for a housing development southwest of Nashville.

The company excavated Natchez Trace Parkway lands without required permits in November 2016. The National Park Service issued the subcontractor a violations notice in December 2017.

Trey Rochford is the vice president of administration for Rockford Realty and Construction Co. He says the subcontractor hadn’t realized it crossed into national park land while conducting tests.

The director of the subcontractor’s Tennessee operations, Travis Hurdle, declined The Tennessean’s request to comment.


Information from: The Tennessean,