Notice of Intent to Repatriate Cultural Items: American Museum of Natural History, New York, NY
FR Doc E8-8295[Federal Register: April 17, 2008 (Volume 73, Number 75)]
[Notices]               
[Page 20936-20937]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr17ap08-63]                         

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DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

National Park Service
 
Notice of Intent to Repatriate Cultural Items: American Museum of 
Natural History, New York, 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. 3005, of the intent 
to repatriate cultural items in the possession of the American Museum 
of Natural History, New York, NY, that meet the definition of 
"unassociated funerary objects" under 25 U.S.C. 3001.
    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 cultural 
items. The National Park Service is not responsible for the 
determinations in this notice.
    Prior to 1900, W.T. Smith acquired 104 cultural items through 
excavations at what is now called the Clements Site, on his land in 
Cass County, TX. In 1900, Mr. Smith sold the cultural items to the 
museum. The 104 cultural items are 3 celts, 25 glass beads, 1 piece of 
green pigment, 3 knives, 3 pipes, 29 shell beads and pendants, 5 
unmodified shells, 1 shell implement, and 34 ceramic vessels.
    The three celts are ground from a type of shale commonly known as 
"green stone." The 25 glass beads are blue, opaque, and round. The 
one piece of green pigment has a clay-like consistency. The three 
knives are made of chipped chert. Of the three ceramic pipes, two are 
complete and elbow-shaped, and one is a broken bowl. The 29 shell beads 
and pendants include 15 marine shells carved into zoomorphic shapes, 6 
marine shell ear discs, 6 barrel-shaped marine shell beads, and 2 worn 
and cut freshwater mussel shells. The five unmodified shells are 
unmodified freshwater mussel shell valves. The one shell implement is a 
complete freshwater mussel valve, modified for use as a hoe. The 34 
ceramic vessels include 15 water vessels, 2 vases, 3 pots, and 14 
bowls.
    The determination that the cultural items are unassociated funerary 
objects is based on museum documentation, consultation information 
provided by representatives of the Caddo Nation of Oklahoma, and expert 
opinion. Museum documentation specifically indicates that these 
cultural items were associated with burials. The museum is not in 
possession of the human remains from these burials. Based on ceramic 
style and archeological evidence, these cultural items date to between 
CE 1680 and 1720. Historical and archeological evidence indicates that 
the Cass County region was occupied by the Caddo during the historic 
period, and that this group emerged from pre-contact Caddoan culture 
dating back to approximately CE 850. Expert analysis and consultation 
have confirmed that the ceramics are consistent with the established 
Caddoan ceramic sequence.
    At an unknown date, C.C. Jones collected seven cultural items from 
an unknown locality in the vicinity of Shreveport, LA. The museum 
acquired the cultural items from Mr. Jones, through purchase or as a 
gift, and accessioned them at an unknown date between 1869 and 1890. 
The seven cultural items are two ceramic vessels and five ceramic 
fragments. The two ceramic vessels are one pot and one water vessel. 
The five ceramic fragments are from a single vessel.
    The determination that the cultural items are unassociated funerary 
objects is based on museum documentation, consultation information 
provided by the Caddo Nation of Oklahoma, expert opinion, and an 
article published by Mr. Jones in which he states that these objects 
were removed from an "ancient burial ground." The museum is not in 
possession of any human remains from these burials. Based on ceramic 
style, the two vessels date to between CE 1600 and 1750, while the 
fragments cannot be dated. Historical and archeological evidence 
indicates that the Shreveport region was occupied by the Caddo during 
the historic period, and that this group emerged from pre-contact 
Caddoan culture dating back to approximately CE 850. Expert analysis 
and consultation have confirmed that the ceramics are consistent with 
the established Caddoan ceramic sequence.
    At an unknown date, DeCost Smith collected one cultural item from 
an unknown locality in the Ouachita River valley of either Arkansas or 
Louisiana. The museum acquired the cultural item in 1940, along with 
more than 200 others, through Mr. Smith's bequest. The one cultural 
item is a ceramic bottle.

[[Page 20937]]

    The determination that this item is an unassociated funerary object 
is based on museum documentation, consultation information provided by 
the tribe and expert opinion. Though museum documentation does not 
specifically indicate that this cultural item was associated with a 
burial, the condition of the item and its type are consistent with a 
funerary context. Based on ceramic style, this cultural item dates to 
between CE 1500 and 1750. Historical and archeological evidence 
indicates that the Ouachita River valley region was occupied by the 
Caddo during the historic period, and that this group emerged from pre-
contact Caddoan culture dating back to approximately CE 850. Expert 
analysis and consultation have confirmed that this bottle is consistent 
with the established Caddoan ceramic sequence.
    Between 1916 and 1917, Mark Harrington collected cultural items 
from the Ozan and Washington sites in Hempstead County, AR, during a 
Museum of the American Indian expedition. The museum acquired the 
cultural items from the Museum of the American Indian in an exchange in 
1920. The 31 cultural items are 29 ceramic vessels and 2 vessel 
fragments. The 29 ceramic vessels are 2 bottles, 14 bowls, and 13 jars. 
The two vessel fragments are those of a jar.
    The determination that these items are unassociated funerary 
objects is based on museum documentation, consultation information 
provided by the Caddo Nation of Oklahoma, expert opinion, and archival 
information held at the Smithsonian National Museum of the American 
Indian. While museum documentation and archival information 
specifically identifies only six of the objects as having been 
associated with burials, field records, the condition of the items and 
type of object, indicate a funerary context. Based on ceramic style, 
the vessels date to between CE 850 and 1700. Historical evidence 
indicates that the Hempstead County region was occupied by the Caddo 
during the historic period, and that this group emerged from pre-
contact Caddoan culture dating back to approximately CE 850. Expert 
analysis and consultation have confirmed that the ceramics are 
consistent with the established Caddoan ceramic sequence.
    Officials of the American Museum of Natural History have determined 
that, pursuant to 25 U.S.C. 3001(3)(B), the 143 cultural items 
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 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 American Museum of Natural 
History also 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 unassociated funerary objects and the Caddo Nation 
of Oklahoma.
    Representatives of any other Indian tribe that believes itself to 
be culturally affiliated with the unassociated funerary objects should 
contact Nell Murphy, Director of Cultural Resources, American Museum of 
Natural History, Central Park West at 79th Street, New York, NY 10024, 
telephone (212) 769-5837, before May 19, 2008. Repatriation of the 
unassociated funerary objects to the Caddo Nation of Oklahoma may 
proceed after that date if no additional claimants come forward.
    The American Museum of Natural History is responsible for notifying 
the Caddo Nation of Oklahoma that this notice has been published.

    Dated: March 18, 2008.
Sherry Hutt,
Manager, National NAGPRA Program.
[FR Doc. E8-8295 Filed 4-15-08; 8:45 am]

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