Does this from the Tennesseean make any sense?
These mounds have "long been known to historians". What is strange is that they are digging up a mound in order to "show that the grave is undisturbed", as part of getting National Historic listing. Some of the cognitive dissonance appears in this part:
To be eligible for the National Register, he said, an archaeological
site has to have “research potential,” meaning scientists could dig into
the mound and answer questions about how and why they were created.
is illegal, however, to disturb a grave. Scientists also understand
that once they’ve rooted through a historically significant site,
they’ve destroyed it, Deter-Wolf said.
“For the same reason, you don’t go out and dig up Gettysburg,” he said. “It’s enough to know that it’s there.”
Got that? First destroy the grave, in order to determine its scientific potential, all the while doing something illegal.
I don't have an answer to all of this but clearly there is a lack of logic to the topic. Also we darn well better show the research potential of rock pile sites without digging any up, to get into people's minds the idea that the artifact is the site, not the hidden "treasure" which, to be honest, they seem to be digging for in Tennessee.