NORWAY — State officials are trying to determine whether Indian Rock on Route 117 can be moved to accommodate major road reconstruction.

“It’s kind of an engineering issue,” Maine Department of Transportation spokesman Herb Thompson said Thursday.

The rock has a deep depression and some believe it was used by Native Americans to grind corn or to tan hides. It was set to be blasted when a $1.6 million road reconstruction project got under way this spring. But residents and officials asked the MDOT to help save the rock.

Project manager Heath Cowan told selectmen in May that the job would be easier if the rock was not part of a larger ledge outcrop, because they have no way to blast out pockets. He said MDOT had been aware of the rock for many years.

Leon Cranmer, an archaeologist with the Maine Historic Preservation Commission, said in May that the site had been investigated several times over the past 20 years, including a review within the past month. The conclusion remained the same: There was nothing to indicate occupation by Indians in that area in the early 1600s.

Cranmer said the conclusion was based on several facts, including the mobility of American Indians at that time and the topography of the area not being suited to Indian occupation because there was no nearby water body.

Board of Selectmen Chairman Bill Damon has committed $1,000 toward the project. Voters have committed an additional $300 from the Dennis Cole Trust Fund.

Plans are to move the rock to the Lake Pennesseewassee rest area on Route 118.

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