FR Doc 03-29777
[Federal Register: December 1, 2003 (Volume 68, Number 230)]
[Notices]               
[Page 67210-67211]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr01de03-101]                         

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DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

National Park Service

Notice of Inventory Completion: U.S. Department of Defense, 
Department of the Navy, Coastal Systems Station, Dahlgren Division, 
Naval Surface Warfare Center, Panama City, FL

AGENCY: National Park Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice.

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    Notice is here given in accordance with the Native American Graves 
Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA), 25 U.S.C. 3003, of the 
completion of an inventory of human remains and associated funerary 
objects in the control of the U.S. Department of Defense, Department of 
the Navy, Coastal Systems Station, Dahlgren Division, Naval Surface 
Warfare Center, Panama City, FL (CSS Panama City). The human remains 
and cultural items were removed from the Sowell Mound site (8BY3), 
Panama City, Bay County, FL.
    This notice is published as part of the National Park Service's 
administrative responsibilities under NAGPRA, 25 U.S.C. 3003 (d)(3). 
The determinations within this notice are the sole responsibility of 
the museum, institution, or Federal agency that has control of the 
Native American human remains and associated funerary objects. The 
National Park Service is not responsible for the determinations within 
this notice.
    A detailed assessment of the human remains was made by the 
professional staff of Brockington and Associates, Inc., under contract 
to CSS Panama City in consultation with representatives of the 
Absentee-Shawnee Tribe of Indians of Oklahoma; Alabama-Coushatta Tribes 
of Texas; Alabama-Quassarte Tribal Town, Oklahoma; Chickasaw Nation, 
Oklahoma; Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma; Eastern Shawnee Tribe of 
Oklahoma; Jena Band of Choctaw Indians, Louisiana; Kialegee Tribal 
Town, Oklahoma; Miccosukee Tribe of Indians of Florida; Mississippi 
Band of Choctaw Indians, Mississippi; Muscogee (Creek) Nation, 
Oklahoma; Poarch Band of Creek Indians of Alabama; Seminole Nation of 
Oklahoma; Seminole Tribe of Florida, Dania, Big Cypress, Brighton, 
Hollywood &Tampa Reservations; Shawnee Tribe, Oklahoma; Thlopthlocco 
Tribal Town, Oklahoma; and United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians in 
Oklahoma.
    During the 1950s and in 1969 and 1970, human remains representing a 
minimum of 171 individuals were removed from the Sowell Mound site in 
Bay County, FL. The Department of the Navy acquired the 373-acre tract 
on which the Sowell Mound site is located in 1942 for use as a Naval 
Section Base. CSS Panama City gave permission to Lamar Gammon and a 
group of amateur archeologists to conduct excavations at the Sowell 
Mound site throughout the 1950s, during which time an undetermined 
number of human remains were removed from a 10-foot square excavation. 
According to an agreement between CSS Panama City and Florida State 
University, the university curated the human remains and artifacts 
removed by Mr. Gammon. In 1969 and 1970, CSS Panama City gave 
permission to Florida State University to conduct field school 
excavations at the Sowell Mound site. Due to poor record keeping, no 
accurate counts are available of the number of human remains or 
artifacts recovered during the university's excavations. According to 
an agreement between CSS Panama City and Florida State University, the 
university curated the human remains and artifacts removed by the 
university. At the request of CSS Panama City, in 2000 Florida State 
University turned over the human skeletal remains and artifacts from 
Mr. Gammon's and the university's excavations to Brockington and 
Associates, Inc., for curatorial preparation and NAGPRA documentation. 
No known individuals were identified. The 3,098 associated funerary 
objects are 3,057 ceramic fragments, 3 ground stone tools, 36 shell 
beads, and 2 lithics.
    Based on mortuary treatment of the human remains, the style and 
date of the associated funerary objects, and radiocarbon dates from the 
Sowell Mound site, the human remains were determined to be Native 
American. The human remains and funerary objects from the Sowell Mound 
site might share a cultural relationship with any Muscogee-speaking 
people, because Muscogee-speaking people occupied the area during the 
time period to which the site is dated, approximately A.D. 100-1300. 
Modern descendants of Muscogee-speaking people are the Absentee-Shawnee 
Tribe of Indians of Oklahoma; Alabama-Coushatta Tribes of Texas; 
Alabama-Quassarte Tribal Town, Oklahoma; Chickasaw Nation, Oklahoma; 
Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma; Eastern Shawnee Tribe of Oklahoma; Jena 
Band of Choctaw Indians, Louisiana; Kialegee Tribal Town, Oklahoma; 
Miccosukee Tribe of Indians of Florida; Mississippi Band of Choctaw 
Indians, Mississippi; Muscogee (Creek) Nation, Oklahoma; Poarch Band

[[Page 67211]]

of Creek Indians of Alabama; Seminole Nation of Oklahoma; Seminole 
Tribe of Florida, Dania, Big Cypress, Brighton, Hollywood & Tampa 
Reservations; Shawnee Tribe, Oklahoma; and Thlopthlocco Tribal Town, 
Oklahoma. The archival and archeological evidence, however, indicate 
that the human remains and associated funerary objects are culturally 
affiliated with the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians, Mississippi. 
Determination of cultural affiliation was based on a variety of types 
of evidence including linguistics, historic maps, continuity of pottery 
traditions, and tribal oral tradition. CSS Panama City and Brockington 
and Associates, Inc., consulted with the Indian tribes listed above 
regarding repatriation of the human remains and associated funerary 
objects from the Sowell Mound site. All of the Indian tribes have 
agreed that the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians, Mississippi are 
the culturally affiliated Indian tribe and the Indian tribe that will 
serve as the representative Indian tribe for repatriation.
    Officials of CSS Panama City have determined that, pursuant to 25 
U.S.C. 3001 (9-10), the human remains described above represent the 
physical remains of 171 individuals of Native American ancestry. 
Officials of CSS Panama City also have determined that, pursuant to 25 
U.S.C. 3001 (3)(A), the 3,098 objects described above are reasonably 
believed to have been placed with or near individual human remains at 
the time of death or later as part of the death rite ceremony. Lastly, 
officials of CSS Panama City have determined that, pursuant to 25 
U.S.C. 3001 (2), there is a relationship of shared group identity that 
can be reasonably traced between the Native American human remains and 
associated funerary objects and the Mississippi Band of Choctaw 
Indians, Mississippi.
    Representatives of any other Indian tribe that believes itself to 
be culturally affiliated with the human remains and associated funerary 
objects should contact Jim Sartain, Cultural and Natural Resources 
Manager, Naval Surface Warfare Center, Dahlgren Division, Coastal 
Systems Station Code WPE, 6703 West Highway 98, Panama City, FL 32407-
7001, telephone (850) 235-5739, before December 31, 2003. Repatriation 
of the human remains and associated funerary objects to the Mississippi 
Band of Choctaw Indians, Mississippi may proceed after that date if no 
additional claimants come forward.
    CSS Panama City is responsible for notifying the Absentee-Shawnee 
Tribe of Indians of Oklahoma; Alabama-Coushatta Tribes of Texas; 
Alabama-Quassarte Tribal Town, Oklahoma; Chickasaw Nation, Oklahoma; 
Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma; Eastern Shawnee Tribe of Oklahoma; Jena 
Band of Choctaw Indians, Louisiana; Kialegee Tribal Town, Oklahoma; 
Miccosukee Tribe of Indians of Florida; Mississippi Band of Choctaw 
Indians, Mississippi; Muscogee (Creek) Nation, Oklahoma; Poarch Band of 
Creek Indians of Alabama; Seminole Nation of Oklahoma; Seminole Tribe 
of Florida, Dania, Big Cypress, Brighton, Hollywood & Tampa 
Reservations; Shawnee Tribe, Oklahoma; Thlopthlocco Tribal Town, 
Oklahoma; and United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians in Oklahoma 
that this notice has been published.

    Dated: September 29, 2003.
John Robbins,
Assistant Director, Cultural Resources.
[FR Doc. 03-29777 Filed 11-28-03; 8:45 am]

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