FR Doc E9-14298[Federal Register: June 18, 2009 (Volume 74, Number 116)]
[Notices]               
[Page 28945-28946]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr18jn09-40]                         

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DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

National Park Service

 
Notice of Inventory Completion: Binghamton University, State 
University of New York, Binghamton, NY

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 associated funerary objects in the 
possession and control of Binghamton University, State University of 
New York, Binghamton, NY. The associated funerary objects were removed 
from the Engelbert site, Tioga County, NY.
    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 associated funerary objects. The National Park Service is not 
responsible for the determinations in this notice.
    A detailed assessment of the associated funerary objects was made 
by Binghamton University professional staff in consultation with 
representatives of the Cayuga Nation of New York; Delaware Tribe (part 
of the Cherokee Nation, Oklahoma); Delaware Nation, Oklahoma; Oneida 
Tribe of Indians of Wisconsin; Oneida Nation of New York; Onondaga 
Nation of New York; Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe, New York (formerly the 
St. Regis Mohawk Band of Mohawk Indians of New York); Seneca Nation of 
New York; Seneca-Cayuga Tribe of Oklahoma; Stockbridge Munsee 
Community, Wisconsin; Tonawanda Band of Seneca Indians of New York; and 
Tuscarora Nation of New York.
    In 1967 and 1968, human remains representing a minimum of 188 
individuals and associated funerary objects were removed from the 
Engelbert site in Tioga County, NY, during gravel mining for 
construction of the Southern Tier Expressway (NY 17). Initial 
assessment of the site was done in 1967 by Dr. Robert E. Funk of the 
New York State Museum, Albany, NY. In 1967, Dr. Marian E. White, 
assisted by students from the State University of New York (SUNY) at 
Buffalo, conducted trench excavations in a portion of the site. In 1967 
and 1968, the primary archeological excavations and recovery were 
directed by Dr. William D. Lipe of SUNY-Binghamton over two field 
seasons, with the assistance of members of the Triple Cities Chapter of 
the New York State Archeological Association, students from SUNY-
Binghamton, and local volunteers. In 1967, the human remains and 
associated funerary objects were placed under the control of the Triple 
Cities Chapter of the New York State Archeological Association, and 
then transferred to the State University of New York at Binghamton in 
1968. In 1989, the human remains were transferred to the New York State 
Museum for curation. No known individuals were identified. The 
associated funerary objects are in the physical possession and control 
of Binghamton University. The 2,640 associated funerary objects are 804 
pieces of lithic debitage; 438 lots of fragmented pottery; 319 
roughstone tools; 136 chipped stone bifaces and tools; 104 lots of 
animal bone and shell; 88 bone beads; 51 copper ornaments; 47 pieces of 
fire-cracked rock; 18 fragments of pipes; 18 groundstone tools; 4 bone 
points; 2 shell beads; 1 bone comb; and 610 geologic/organic samples.
    Archeological evidence shows that the Engelbert site is a large, 
multicomponent habitation site on a gravel knoll bordering the 
Susquehanna River in New York. The knoll was used intermittently over a 
period of about 5,000 years, as suggested by diagnostic artifacts from 
the Late Archaic (Lamoka, Dustin, and Snook Kill points), Transitional 
(Susquehanna Broad points), Late Woodland (triangular points, pottery), 
Proto-historic and Historic (beads, copper ornaments, and pottery) 
periods. The site was also used as a burial site during at least two 
different periods, from about A.D. 1000 to the 1400s, and again during 
the late 1500s and possibly into the early 1600s. The later burials are 
few in number. Archeologists have concluded that artifacts associated 
with the earlier burials, including pottery (e.g., Carpenter Brook, 
Levanna, Sackett, Kelso, Castle Creek, and Oak Hill) and projectile 
points (triangular Levannas/Madisons), are similar to other sites 
across a broad geographic region that later became associated with both 
Iroquoian- and Algonquian-speaking peoples, some of whom became members 
of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy, a non-Federally recognized Indian 
group for the purposes of NAGPRA. The Haudenosaunee Confederacy 
includes the Federally-recognized six Nations of the Mohawk, Oneida, 
Onondaga, Cayuga, Seneca, and Tuscarora.

[[Page 28946]]

    The later burials at the site contained pottery types (e.g., 
Schultz Incised, Monongahela, shell-tempered) and copper ornaments 
(e.g., spirals) that usually are associated with Susquehannock peoples 
who lived in the Susquehanna River Valley in New York and Pennsylvania. 
Archeological data indicate that Susquehannock material culture and 
lifeways were broadly similar to other Iroquoian- and Algonquian- 
speaking peoples, including the Haudenosaunee, Erie, Petun, Huron, and 
Delaware among others. Archeological and historical evidence shows 
that, towards the end of the 16th century, the Susquehannock moved 
south along the Susquehanna River to escape warfare and position their 
villages closer to trade with the southern colonies. Throughout the 
17th century, the Susquehannock were greatly reduced by disease and 
warfare. Historical records show that by A.D. 1763, the Susquehannock 
were so diminished by these processes that they ceased to exist as a 
separate group. Individuals and groups were adopted and assimilated 
into various Indian Nations. Some survivors moved northward to live 
among the Haudenosaunee, while other Susquehannocks lived among their 
Delaware allies. As a result, no Federally-recognized Susquehannock 
groups exist today for the purposes of NAGPRA. Haudenosaunee oral 
tradition describes a relationship of shared group identity with the 
Susquehannock peoples, such as those interred at the Engelbert site, 
based on the adoption of many Susquehannock into Nations within the 
Haudenosaunee Confederacy. The Onondaga Nation asserts a relationship 
of shared group identity with the peoples interred at the Engelbert 
site based on oral history, geography, linguistics, material culture, 
and kinship.
    The Onondaga Nation petitioned the Native American Graves 
Protection and Repatriation Committee (Review Committee) to hear a 
dispute with the New York State Museum about the cultural affiliation 
of the human remains removed from the Engelbert site. The Engelbert 
funerary objects in the physical possession and control of Binghamton 
University are directly associated with the human remains removed from 
the Engelbert site, but were not part of this hearing. During their 
October 11-12, 2008 meeting in San Diego, CA, and in their Findings and 
Recommendations published in the Federal Register (74 FR 9427-9428, 
March 4, 2009), the Review Committee found a relationship of shared 
group identity between the human remains from the Engelbert site and 
the Onondaga Nation and Haudenosaunee Confederacy. The Onondaga Nation 
and the New York State Museum consulted with members of the 
Confederacy, as well as the Stockbridge-Munsee and Delaware Nation, and 
found support for repatriation of the Engelbert human remains to the 
Onondaga Nation, as documented in written support from the Federally-
recognized Tonawanda Seneca Indians of New York and Tuscarora Nation of 
New York; verbal support from the Federally-recognized Oneida Nation of 
New York; St. Regis Mohawk Tribe, New York; Seneca Nation of New York; 
Cayuga Nation of New York, and Oneida Tribe of Indians of Wisconsin; 
and written support from the Delaware Tribe of Indians (part of the 
Federally-recognized Cherokee Nation, Oklahoma) and the Federally-
recognized Stockbridge-Munsee Community, Wisconsin. Based on this 
information, Binghamton University also supports the repatriation of 
the associated funerary objects from the Engelbert site to the Onondaga 
Nation within whose traditional territory the associated funerary 
objects were found.
    Officials of Binghamton University have determined that, pursuant 
to 25 U.S.C. 3001 (3)(A), the 2,640 lots and objects described above 
are reasonably believed to have been placed with or near individual 
Native American human remains at the time of death or later as part of 
the death rite or ceremony. Officials of Binghamton University 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 associated funerary objects and the Haudenosaunee 
Confederacy, a non-Federally-recognized Indian group for the purposes 
of NAGPRA. Based on the written and verbal support of Haudenosaunee and 
Delaware Nations, officials of Binghamton University also have 
determined that the associated funerary objects should be repatriated 
to the Onondaga Nation of New York within whose traditional territory 
the associated funerary objects were found.
    Representatives of any other Indian Nation or tribe that believes 
itself to be culturally affiliated with the associated funerary objects 
should contact Nina M. Versaggi, Public Archaeology Facility, 
Binghamton University, Binghamton, NY 13902-6000, telephone (607) 777-
4786, before July 20, 2009. Repatriation of the associated funerary 
objects to the Onondaga Nation of New York may proceed after that date 
if no additional claimants come forward.
    Binghamton University is responsible for notifying the Cayuga 
Nation of New York; Delaware Tribe (part of the Cherokee Nation, 
Oklahoma); Delaware Nation, Oklahoma; Oneida Tribe of Indians of 
Wisconsin; Oneida Nation of New York; Onondaga Nation of New York; 
Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe, New York; Seneca Nation of New York; Seneca-
Cayuga Tribe of Oklahoma; Stockbridge Munsee Community, Wisconsin; 
Tonawanda Band of Seneca Indians of New York; and Tuscarora Nation of 
New York that this notice has been published.

    Dated: May 18, 2009
Sherry Hutt,
Manager, National NAGPRA Program.
[FR Doc. E9-14298 Filed 6-17-09; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4312-50-S

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