[Federal Register: December 13, 2000 (Volume 65, Number 240)]
[Notices]
[Page 77908-77909]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr13de00-78]

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DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

National Park Service.

Notice of Intent to Repatriate Cultural Items in the Possession
of the Louisiana State University Museum of Natural Science, Baton
Rouge, LA

AGENCY: National Park Service.

ACTION: Notice.

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    Notice is hereby given under the Native American Graves Protection
and Repatriation Act, 43 CFR 10.10(a)(3), of the intent to repatriate
cultural items in the possession of the Louisiana State University
Museum of Natural Science that meet the definition of ``unassociated
funerary objects'' under Section 2 of the Act.
    This notice is published as part of the National Park Service's
administrative responsibilities under NAGPRA, 43 CFR 10.2(c). The
determinations within this notice are the sole responsibility of the
museum, institution, or Federal agency that has control of these
cultural items. The National Park Service is not responsible for the
determinations within this notice.
    Between 1936-1954, 18 unassociated funerary objects were removed
during excavations at the Belcher Mounds Site (LSUMNS Site Number
16CD013), Caddo Parish, LA, by Clarence H. Webb. Dr. Webb donated these
objects as part of a larger collection to the Louisiana State
University Museum of Natural Science in 1974. The unassociated objects
include earthenware pottery, a decorated conch shell cup and other
shell artifacts, a zoomorphic shell pendant, and a decorated platform
pipe.
    The Belcher Site is a dual mound and habitation site that
functioned as a ceremonial center and cemetery between circa A.D. 900-
1700. Twenty-four individuals were buried between circa A.D. 900 and
1400, and 22

[[Page 77909]]

individuals were buried between circa A.D. 1500 and 1700. The mortuary
practices and ceramic styles indicate affiliations with Caddoan
culture.
    Between 1950-1952, two unassociated funerary objects were removed
during excavations at the Mounds Plantation (LSUMNS Site Number
16DC071/16DC02/16DC012), Caddo Parish, LA, by Clarence H. Webb. Dr.
Webb donated these objects as part of a larger collection to the
Louisiana State University Museum of Natural Science in 1974. The
objects consist of wood lath and decorated cane matting removed from
the log tomb covering of ``Burial Pit 5.''
    Diagnostic pottery, mortuary customs, and other distinctive
features indicate that ``Burial Pit 5'' in Mound 5 represents an
intrusive Caddoan interment in an earlier Coles Creek Period mound. The
logs of the tomb covering of ``Burial Pit 5'' were dated to circa A.D.
1050-1475.
    In 1935, Clarence H. Webb removed three unassociated funerary
objects during excavations at the Smithport Landing Site (LSUMNS Site
Number 16DS004), De Soto Parish, LA. The same year, Dr. Webb donated
these remains and objects to the Louisiana State University Museum of
Natural History. The unassociated funerary objects consist of ceramic
vessels.
    Smithport Landing is a non-mound burial site. The stylistic
attributes of the associated funerary objects date the burials to circa
A.D. 1000-1300. They also indicate that the cultural affiliations with
the interred are with Caddo Indians.
    In 1936, four unassociated funerary objects were removed from an
unknown location in Lincoln Parish, LA. These were donated to the
Louisiana State University Museum of Natural Science by Hubert Smith in
1937. The unassociated funerary objects consist of three vessels and a
pipe fragment. Though precise provenience locations are lacking and the
vessels do not differ significantly from utilitarian wares, Mr. Smith's
habits as a pothunter strongly suggest that they were taken from burial
contexts.
    Stylistic attributes of the pottery date them to circa A.D. 1400-
1600, and are diagnostic of Caddoan culture.
    In 1936 or 1937, four unassociated funerary objects were removed
during excavations at the Allen Place Site (LSUMNS Site Number
16NA004), Natchitoches Parish, LA, by James Ford. Dr. Ford donated the
objects to the Louisiana State University Museum of Natural Science in
the late 1930's. The unassociated funerary objects consist of four
ceramic vessels.
    Stylistic attributes of these vessels and the presence of
Euroamerican objects found with burials excavated by Dr. Ford but not
donated to this museum suggest that the Allen Place Site was utilized
during the historic period.
    In 1939, two unassociated funerary objects were removed during
excavations at the Gahagan Mounds Site (LSUMNS Site Number 16RR001), in
Red River Parish, Louisiana by Clarence H. Webb. Dr. Webb donated these
objects to the Louisiana State Museum of Natural Science in 1974 as
part of a larger collection. The two objects were recovered from
``Burial Pit #3,'' and consist of a Holly Engraved bottle and one
fragmented blade, possibly a Gahagan.
    Mortuary practices and stylistic attributes of the unassociated
funerary objects indicate that the Gahagan Mound Site was utilized
circa A.D. 900-1200.
    Historical evidence and oral history indicate that northwest
Louisiana is part of the traditional territory of the Caddo people.
Archeological evidence indicates that settlements within this region
exhibit a cultural continuity dating to circa A.D. 900 and continued
into the historic period. In the historic period these stylistic
attributes are associated with the Caddo people. Based on
archeological, historical and oral history evidence, the six sites
reported above are identified with the Caddo people.
    Officials of the Louisiana State University Museum of Natural
Science have determined that, pursuant to 43 CFR 10.2(d)(2)(ii), these
cultural items 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 and are believed, by a preponderance of the
evidence, to have been removed from a specific burial site of a Native
American individual. Officials of the Louisiana State University Museum
of Natural Science also have determined that, pursuant to 43 CFR
10.2(e), there is a relationship of shared group identity that can be
reasonably traced between these cultural items and the Caddo Indian
Tribe of Oklahoma.
    This notice has been sent to officials of the Caddo Indian Tribe of
Oklahoma. Representatives of any other Indian tribe that believes
itself to be culturally affiliated with these cultural items should
contact Dr. Rebecca Saunders, Assistant Curator of Anthropology,
Louisiana State Museum of Natural Science, 119 Foster Hall, Baton
Rouge, LA 70803, telephone (225) 578-6562, before January 12, 2001.
Repatriation of the cultural items to the Caddo Indian Tribe of
Oklahoma may begin after that date if no additional claimants come
forward.

    Dated: November 30, 2000.
John Robbins,
Assistant Director, Cultural Resources, Stewardship, and Partnerships.
[FR Doc. 00-31662 Filed 12-12-00; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4310-70-F
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