FR Doc E8-4320[Federal Register: March 6, 2008 (Volume 73, Number 45)]
[Notices]               
[Page 12214-12215]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr06mr08-100]                         

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DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

National Park Service
 
Notice of Inventory Completion: Texas Department of 
Transportation, Austin, TX

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 Texas Department of Transportation, 
Austin, TX. The human remains and associated funerary objects were 
removed from Titus County, TX.
    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 
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 in this notice.
    A detailed assessment of the human remains was made by the 
professional archeological staff of the Texas Department of 
Transportation in consultation with representatives of the Caddo Nation 
of Oklahoma.
    In 1973, human remains representing a minimum of one individual 
were removed from the Alex Justiss Site, 41TT13, in Titus County, TX. 
No known individual was identified. The 94 associated funerary objects 
are 39 ceramic sherds, 1 Talco arrow point, 2 untyped arrow points, 1 
core, 1 grooved hematitic sandstone, 48 pieces of lithic debitage, and 
2 organic matter (nutshells).
    In 1975, human remains representing a minimum of two individuals 
were removed from the Alex Justiss Site, 41TT13, in Titus County, TX. 
No known individuals were identified. The 251 associated funerary 
objects are 73 ceramic sherds, 4 Talco arrow points, 3 Maud arrow 
points, 1 Alba arrow point, 1 Perdiz arrow point, 5 Gary dart points, 1 
Yarbrough dart point, 1 gouge, 1 pitted stone, 2 ground stones, 1 
hammerstone, 1 end scraper, 6 bifaces, 4 cores, and 147 pieces of 
lithic debitage.
    In 2001, human remains representing a minimum of 18 individuals 
were removed from the Alex Justiss Site, 41TT13, in Titus County, TX. 
No known individuals were identified. The 1,089 associated funerary 
objects are 14 ceramic vessels (ceramic vessels include 6 jars, 5 
bottles, and 3 carinated bowls); 313 ceramic sherds; 1 pipe stem; 70 
Talco arrow points; 1 Bassett arrow point; 1 Harrell arrow point; 1 
Perdiz arrow point; 3 Washita arrow points; 2 untyped arrow points; 1 
celt; 4 Gary dart points; 6 untyped dart point and fragments; 3 
groundstones; 1 hammerstone; 4 cores; 529 pieces of lithic debitage; 73 
non-human bones; 1 snail shell; 43 soil samples; and 18 carbon samples.
    In 1959, the Alex Justiss Site, 41TT13, was identified by a local 
collector, Edward German, when a firebreak on the property of Alex 
Justiss exposed a prehistoric burial. There is evidence of earlier 
occupation at site 41TT13 during the Late Archaic and Late Caddo 
periods. In 1973, plans were made to widen SH 49 between FM 144 and FM 
1735, and test excavations by the Texas Department of Transportation 
confirmed the presence of a Titus phase Caddo cemetery on the south 
side of the highway. The site was determined eligible for listing in 
the National Register of Historic Places and data recovery excavations 
were designed to mitigate the effects of the construction on the site. 
These excavations were conducted in 1975, but SH 49 was not widened at 
that time.
    In 2000, the plan to widen SH 49 was re-evaluated. Archeological 
avoidance was not feasible and determined that the earlier excavation 
did not meet current archeological standards. In consultations with the 
Caddo Nation of Oklahoma it was determined that the portion of the 
Caddo cemetery within the right of way of SH 49 was to be re-excavated. 
These excavations took place in 2001 and additional human remains were 
removed from the site. The later development of the Caddo Cemetery, and 
19th and 20th century's historic activities disturbed and mixed the 
earlier occupation artifacts into the burial fill and surrounding soil. 
As a result it is impossible to determine if excavated artifacts such 
as debitage, sherds, and broken tools were intentional funerary objects 
or accidentally incorporated into the Caddo Cemetery complex. However, 
based on the preponderance of the evidence, officials of the Texas 
Department of Transportation reasonably believe the artifacts are 
associated funerary objects.
    Ceramic types represented in the burial assemblage include Wilder 
Engraved, Bullard Brushed, Pease Brushed-Incised, La Rue Neck Banded, 
Taylor Engraved, Ripley Engraved, and Keno Trailed. The types of 
decorated ceramics represented in the ceramic assemblage and the 
abundance of Talco arrow points indicate that the cemetery was used by 
a Caddo group during the Titus phase (A.D. 1400-1680). Texas Department 
of Transportation has determined that based upon the lithic and ceramic 
assemblages that the Alex Justiss site was occupied by a Caddo group. 
Descendants of the Caddo are members of the Caddo Nation of Oklahoma.
    Officials of the Texas Department of Transportation have determined 
that, pursuant to 25 U.S.C. 3001 (9-10), the human remains described 
above represent the physical remains of 21 individuals of Native 
American ancestry. Officials of the Texas Department of Transportation 
also have determined that, pursuant to 25 U.S.C. 3001 (3)(A), the 1,434 
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 Texas 
Department of Transportation have determined, 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 Caddo Nation of Oklahoma.
    Representatives of any other Indian tribe that believes itself to 
be culturally affiliated with the human remains and associated funerary 
objects should contact Scott Pletka, Ph.D., Supervisor, Archeological 
Studies Program, Texas Department of Transportation, 125 E. 11th 
Street, Austin, TX 78701-2483, telephone (512) 416-2631, before April 
7, 2008. Repatriation of the human remains and associated funerary 
objects to the Caddo Nation of Oklahoma may proceed after that date if 
no additional claimants come forward.

[[Page 12215]]

    The Texas Department of Transportation is responsible for notifying 
the Caddo Nation of Oklahoma that this notice has been published.

    Dated: January 30, 2008.
Sherry Hutt,
Manager, National NAGPRA Program.
[FR Doc. E8-4320 Filed 3-5-08; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4312-50-S


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