[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 243 (Tuesday, December 18, 2012)]
[Notices]
[Pages 74872-74873]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov ]
[FR Doc No: 2012-30451]



[[Page 74872]]

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DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

National Park Service

[NPS-WASO-NAGPRA-11742; 2200-1100-665]


Notice of Inventory Completion: Beneski Museum of Natural 
History, Amherst College, Amherst, MA

AGENCY: National Park Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice.

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SUMMARY: The Beneski Museum of Natural History, Amherst College 
(formerly the Pratt Museum of Natural History) has completed an 
inventory of human remains, in consultation with the appropriate Indian 
tribes, and has determined that there is a cultural affiliation between 
the human remains and present-day Indian tribes. Representatives of any 
Indian tribe that believes itself to be culturally affiliated with the 
human remains may contact the Beneski Museum of Natural History, 
Amherst College. Repatriation of the human remains to the Indian tribes 
stated below may occur if no additional claimants come forward.

DATES: Representatives of any Indian tribe that believes it has a 
cultural affiliation with the human remains should contact the Beneski 
Museum of Natural History, Amherst College at the address below by 
January 17, 2013.

ADDRESSES: Tekla A. Harms, NAGPRA Coordinator, Beneski Museum of 
Natural History, Amherst College, Amherst, MA 01002; telephone (413) 
542-2233.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 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 in the 
possession of the Beneski Museum of Natural History, Amherst College. 
The human remains were removed from Florida, most likely Brevard or 
Indian River counties.
    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. The National Park Service is not responsible 
for the determinations in this notice.

Consultation

    A detailed assessment of the human remains was made by the NAGPRA 
Coordinator and museum staff of the Beneski Museum of Natural History, 
Amherst College, and their agents, in consultation with representatives 
of the Caddo Nation of Oklahoma; Catawba Indian Nation (aka Catawba 
Tribe of South Carolina); Cherokee Nation; Chickasaw Nation; Chitimacha 
Tribe of Louisiana; Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma; Coushatta Tribe of 
Louisiana; Jena Band of Choctaw Indians; Miccosukee Tribe of Indians; 
Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians; Modoc Tribe of Oklahoma; Quapaw 
Tribe of Indians; Seminole Tribe of Florida (previously listed as the 
Seminole Tribe of Florida (Dania, Big Cypress, Brighton, Hollywood & 
Tampa Reservations)); The Muscogee (Creek) Nation; The Osage Nation 
(previously listed as the Osage Tribe); The Seminole Nation of 
Oklahoma; United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians in Oklahoma; and 
the Wyandotte Nation (hereafter referred to as ``The Tribes''). 
Representatives of the Beneski Museum also contacted and attempted to 
consult with the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians; Poarch Band of 
Creeks (previously listed as the Poarch Band of Creek Indians of 
Alabama); and the Tunica-Biloxi Indian Tribe.

History and Description of the Remains

    In about 1925, human remains representing, at minimum, two 
individuals were removed from either the area of Melbourne, in Brevard 
County, FL, or the area of Vero Beach, in Indian River County, FL, by 
F.B. Loomis, Professor of Geology at Amherst College. In the early 
1980s, other remains collected at the same time were transferred from 
Amherst College to the University of Massachusetts Amherst, Department 
of Anthropology for permanent curation. These remains are the subject 
of a separate Notice of Inventory Completion.
    Museum records regarding these human remains are fragmentary and 
only indirectly constrain their provenience. The skull of one 
individual is marked with a number that corresponds to an entry in the 
ledger entitled ``Catalogue of Skeletal Material, Gilbert Museum of 
Indian Relics.'' The ``Gilbert Museum'' is an old, informal name for 
the Gilbert Collection, which is presently housed in the Beneski Museum 
of Natural History, Amherst College. In its entirety, that entry reads: 
``Seminole from Melbourne Florida. Complete.'' No known individuals 
have been identified. No associated funerary objects are present.
    Both individuals are marked with numbers that resemble the 
numbering system used by F.B. Loomis in the field. Loomis was engaged 
in excavating in Florida in 1923 and 1925, at least. No field notes 
from Loomis's excavations remain, but newspaper reports at the time 
indicate Loomis collected from ``burial mounds'' (Melbourne Florida 
Times, December 5, 1923). The Boston Globe on November 1, 1925, 
reported Loomis and his coworkers excavated ``in Melbourne and on the 
east coast of Florida'' for five weeks and ``at Vero Beach'' for two, 
obtaining ``50 skulls and about one dozen skeletons.'' This article 
also associates these mounds with Native Americans from southern rather 
than western Florida, based on the absence of pottery or tools in the 
mounds. No doubt, this conclusion derived from an interview with Loomis 
himself. Similarly, the Globe reported, ``[t]he skeletons lay in 
formation around the mound, and when one layer was completed, earth was 
piled on and another layer begun. In this way the growth of the mound 
was effected.''
    Multiple lines of evidence--guided by tribal consultations--
including geographic, oral tradition, archaeological, linguistic, 
historical, and aboriginal land claims, demonstrate a shared group 
identity between these human remains and the modern-day tribes of the 
Muscogee (Creek) Nation, Oklahoma; Seminole Tribe of Florida; and The 
Seminole Nation of Oklahoma.

Determinations Made by the Beneski Museum of Natural History, Amherst 
College

    Officials of the Beneski Museum of Natural History, Amherst College 
have determined that:
     Pursuant to 25 U.S.C. 3001(9), the human remains described 
in this notice represent the physical remains of two individuals of 
Native American ancestry.
     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 the Muscogee (Creek) Nation, Oklahoma; 
Seminole Tribe of Florida; and The Seminole Nation of Oklahoma.

Additional Requestors and Disposition

    Representatives of any Indian tribe that believes itself to be 
culturally affiliated with the human remains should contact the NAGPRA 
Coordinator, Beneski Museum of Natural History, Amherst College, 
Amherst, MA 01002; telephone (413) 542-2233, before January 17, 2013. 
Repatriation of the human remains to the Muscogee (Creek) Nation, 
Oklahoma; Seminole Tribe of Florida; and The Seminole Nation of 
Oklahoma may proceed after that date if no additional claimants come 
forward.

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    The Beneski Museum of Natural History, Amherst College is 
responsible for notifying The Tribes that this notice has been 
published.

    Dated: November 20, 2012.
Sherry Hutt,
Manager, National NAGPRA Program.
[FR Doc. 2012-30451 Filed 12-17-12; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4312-50-P




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