Indian Run Park

Location: U.S. Federal Courthouse, Beltsville, Maryland U.S.A.

Materials: Granite, water, bronze cylinder with Onondaga text, myscanthus grasses, "Seneca Red" gravel, 10,000 arrowheads

Size: 100'L x 200'w


This courthouse site was visited frequently 9,000 years ago by archaic Indians in search of stone materials for the manufacture of arrowheads, spear points, and scraping tools.  Hundreds of the artifacts have been excavated here, but thousands remain buried below this area.  Indian Run, which ran across this site at one time, was a stream of many uses for these early inhabitants. 

This small park adjacent to the Courthouse draws on the knowledge of these things for its inspiration.  The long stone outcropping with its stream and waterfall recall the original Indian Run, the serpentine walkway, the archaic Indian moundbuilders, and the bronze cylinder which is the indigenous peoples' contribution to our legal system.  The cylinder is perforated with the text of the Iroquois Book of the Great Law.  The text itself is written in Onondaga and was transcribed from the ancient oral tradition of five Iroquois nations.  At night this text is projected over the entire site by a pinpoint light source located within the bronze cylinder.  It is believed by many scholars that Benjamin Franklin drew from this manuscript when he was designing the US Constitution.  In addition this site was "seeded" with 10,000 arrowheads provided by the artist, these will be recoverable by visitors for many years.

Indian Run Park - image courtesy of Francoise Yohalem    Indian Run Park - image courtesy Francoise Yohalem    U.S. Federal Courthouse, Indian Run Park.  Image courtesy Francoise Yohalem 

 Indian Run Park - image courtesy Francoise Yohalem  


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