FR Doc E8-3446[Federal Register: February 25, 2008 (Volume 73, Number 37)]
[Notices]               
[Page 10060-10061]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr25fe08-110]                         

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DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

National Park Service
 
Notice of Inventory Completion: U.S. Department of the Interior, 
National Park Service, Southeast Archeological Center, Tallahassee, 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 possession of the U.S. Department of the Interior, 
National Park Service, Southeast Archeological Center (SEAC), 
Tallahassee, FL. The human remains and associated funerary objects were 
removed from the Irene Mound site in Chatham County, GA.
    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 in this notice are the sole responsibility of the 
Director, Southeast Archeological Center.
    A detailed assessment of the human remains and associated funerary 
objects was made by Southeast Archeological Center professional staff 
in consultation with representatives of the Absentee-Shawnee Tribe of 
Indians of Oklahoma; Alabama-Coushatta Tribes of Texas; Alabama-
Quassarte Tribal Town, Oklahoma; Catawba Indian Nation (aka Catawba 
Tribe of South Carolina); Cherokee Nation, Oklahoma; Chickasaw Nation, 
Oklahoma; Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma; Coushatta Tribe of Louisiana; 
Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians of North Carolina; 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. The Shawnee Tribe, Oklahoma -- a non-
federally recognized Native American group at the time that they were 
consulted, as guests of the federally recognized Eastern Shawnee Tribe 
of Oklahoma and the Absentee-Shawnee Tribe of Indians of Oklahoma -- 
has since been recognized as eligible for the special programs and 
Service's provided by the United States to Indians because of their 
status as Indians under provisions of P.L. 106-568.
    Between 1937 and 1940, human remains representing a minimum of 265 
individuals were removed from the Irene site in Chatham County, GA, 
under the joint sponsorship of the Works Progress Administration and 
the Chatham County Commission. After several years of negotiation, the 
Irene collection was donated to the National Park Service by the 
Chatham County Commission on January 29, 1942. According to SEAC 
records, most of the human remains from the Irene site were transferred 
to the Smithsonian Institution in February, 1964. When the SEAC 
inventory of human remains was conducted in the early 1990s, it was 
discovered that five sets of human remains representing a minimum of 
five individuals were overlooked in this transfer. No known individuals 
were identified. The 119 associated funerary objects are 56 beads, 13 
ceramic jars, 13 animal bones, 8 ceramic bowls, 6 projectile points, 5 
sherds, 3 burial urns, 3 shell earplugs, 1 chipped stone flake, 2 shell 
fragments, 2 shell gorgets, 1 beaker, 1 pin, 1 ceramic bottle, 1 bone 
artifact, 1 piece of hematite, 1 groundstone, and 1 bannerstone.

[[Page 10061]]

    The Irene site consists of a mound, village, and mortuary complex 
located near Savannah, GA. Two mounds were constructed at the site: a 
large, seven-stage ceremonial flat-topped mound used during the 
Savannah phase (A.D. 1200-1325) and Irene phase (A.D. 1325-1700), and a 
conical shell burial mound used during the Irene phase. The mortuary 
structure consisted of a circular building in which residents placed 
urn burials. The human remains and associated funerary objects date to 
the Irene Phase (A.D. 1325-1700) on the basis of archeological context 
and mortuary practices.
    The first recorded European contact in the Savannah area occurred 
in the summer of A.D. 1526 when settlers under Lucas Vasquez de Ayllon 
briefly established a colony along the "Gualdape" river (believed to 
be the present-day Savannah River). Ayllon's settlement is thought to 
have been in or near the territory of the Cusabo. Sometime in the late 
1600s, a portion of the Cusabo joined the emergent Creek Confederacy. 
Ayllon's name for the river also may refer to Guale residents of the 
area. By 1700, many of the Guale had relocated south to Florida. 
However, some of the remaining Guale population joined with the Tama to 
form the Yamassee Tribe. Other Guale fled inland to settle with the 
emergent Lower Creek towns on the Ocmulgee and Chattahoochee Rivers. 
When he landed at Savannah in 1733, Governor Oglethorpe encountered 
members of the Yamacraw band, thought to be a Yamassee tribal town that 
had joined the Creek Confederacy. In 1736, Moravian missionaries 
established a mission on the Irene site itself, which was, by then, 
unoccupied by native peoples, although a small unidentified American 
Indian village was located nearby. The Irene site is located within the 
historically-recognized territories of the Cusabo, Guale, and Yamassee 
tribes-in the time range when individuals were buried at Irene. 
Subsequent to the burials, subsets of the Cusabo, Guale and Yamasee 
were incorporated into the Creek Confederacy. Descendents of the Creek 
Confederacy are members of the federally-recognized tribes of the 
Alabama-Quassarte Tribal Town, Oklahoma; Kialegee Tribal Town, 
Oklahoma; Miccosukee Tribe of Indians of Florida; 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); and Thlopthlocco Tribal 
Town, Oklahoma. Analysis of the Irene ceramic complex indicates a close 
affinity with various Muskhogean-speaking and proto-Creek Confederacy 
tribes in Georgia.
    Additionally, the Irene site is located less than 50 miles from the 
Newberry site, or Cofitachique as it was referred to by the chroniclers 
of Hernando de Soto in 1540. The modern Catawba tribe is derived, at 
least in part, from "the people of the province of Cofitachique as 
well as lesser societies." Ancestors of modern Catawba tribal members 
may have included residents of the Irene site.
    Officials of the Southeast Archeological Center have determined 
that, pursuant to 25 U.S.C. 3001 (9-10), the human remains described 
above represent the physical remains of five individuals of Native 
American ancestry. Officials of the Southeast Archeological Center also 
have determined that, pursuant to 25 U.S.C. 3001 (3)(A), the 119 
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 or ceremony. Lastly, officials of the Southeast 
Archeological Center 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 Alabama-Quassarte Tribal Town, 
Oklahoma; Catawba Indian Nation (aka Catawba Tribe of South Carolina); 
Kialegee Tribal Town, Oklahoma; Miccosukee Tribe of Indians of Florida; 
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); and 
Thlopthlocco Tribal Town, Oklahoma.
    Representatives of any other Indian tribe that believes itself to 
be culturally affiliated with the human remains and associated funerary 
objects should contact Bennie Keel, Ph.D., Director, Southeast 
Archeological Center, National Park Service, 2035 E. Paul Dirac Drive, 
Johnson Building, Suite 120, Tallahassee, FL 32310, telephone (850) 
580-3011, before March 26, 2008. Repatriation of the human remains and 
associated funerary objects to the Alabama-Quassarte Tribal Town, 
Oklahoma; Catawba Indian Nation (aka Catawba Tribe of South Carolina); 
Kialegee Tribal Town, Oklahoma; Miccosukee Tribe of Indians of Florida; 
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); and 
Thlopthlocco Tribal Town, Oklahoma may proceed after that date if no 
additional claimants come forward.
    The Southeast Archeological Center is responsible for notifying the 
Absentee-Shawnee Tribe of Indians of Oklahoma; Alabama-Coushatta Tribes 
of Texas; Alabama-Quassarte Tribal Town, Oklahoma; Catawba Indian 
Nation (aka Catawba Tribe of South Carolina); Cherokee Nation, 
Oklahoma; Chickasaw Nation, Oklahoma; Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma; 
Coushatta Tribe of Louisiana; Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians of North 
Carolina; 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: January 22, 2008.
Sherry Hutt,
Manager, National NAGPRA Program.
[FR Doc. E8-3446 Filed 2-22-08; 8:45 am]

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