[Federal Register Volume 76, Number 229 (Tuesday, November 29, 2011)]
[Notices]
[Pages 73658-73660]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2011-30618]


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DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

[2253-665]

National Park Service


Notice of Intent to Repatriate Cultural Items: Tennessee Valley 
Authority and the University of Tennessee McClung Museum, Knoxville, TN

AGENCY: National Park Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice.

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SUMMARY: The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) and the University of 
Tennessee McClung Museum (McClung Museum), in consultation with the 
appropriate Indian tribes, have determined that the cultural items in 
this notice meet the definition of unassociated funerary objects, and 
repatriation to the Indian tribes stated below may occur if no 
additional claimants come forward.

[[Page 73659]]

Representatives of any Indian tribe that believes itself to be 
culturally affiliated with the cultural items may contact the TVA and 
McClung Museum.

DATES: Representatives of any Indian tribe that believes it has a 
cultural affiliation with the cultural items should contact TVA at the 
address below by December 29, 2011.

ADDRESSES: Dr. Thomas O. Maher, TVA, 400 West Summit Hill Drive, WT 
11D, Knoxville, TN 37902-1401, telephone (865) 632-7458.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 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 custody 
of the McClung Museum and control of TVA, Knoxville, TN 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 Native 
American cultural items. The National Park Service is not responsible 
for the determinations in this notice.

History and Description of the Cultural Items

    From 1967 through the mid 1980's, Native American graves were 
excavated by professional archeologists from the McClung Museum during 
TVA's construction of the Tellico reservoir. Five of these sites had 
historic Overhill Cherokee occupations and graves: Chota, Tanasee, 
Tomotley, Toqua and Citico. Based on an agreement between TVA and the 
Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians of North Carolina, historic Cherokee 
human remains recovered during the Tellico Reservoir project were 
transferred to the Tribe for reburial in 1986. The objects from these 
graves, however, continued to be curated by the McClung Museum. Since 
neither TVA nor the McClung Museum has possession or control of the 
human remains, the objects are unassociated funerary objects.
    Based on both historical documents and oral tradition, the sites of 
Chota, Tanasee, Tomotley, Toqua and Citico were known to have had 
Cherokee occupations. Each village is illustrated in a map Lt. Henry 
Timberlake drafted in 1762, based on his stay with the Cherokee in the 
lower Little Tennessee River valley.
    At the Chota site (40MR2) 54 graves from the historic Overhill 
Cherokee occupation were excavated. The unassociated funerary objects 
from these graves include 485 metal artifacts comprised of buttons, 
bells, nails, rings, buckles, axes, knives and musket balls made from 
iron, brass, pewter, silver and lead; three glass mirrors or mirror 
fragments; six glass vessel fragments; one glass bottle; twelve mineral 
samples including vermillion, barite, and one unshaped piece of smelted 
lead; four steatite pipes; one catlinite pipe; two clay siltstone 
pipes; three projectile points; two chert flakes; cloth fragments; one 
wooden fire horn plug; one conch shell ear pin; a deer metapodial bone; 
approximately 18,444 glass beads of varying size and color; and 36 
beads made from shell.
    The Tanasee site (40MR62) is immediately adjacent to the Chota site 
and initial excavations did not distinguish between them. Seventeen 
graves are attributed to the Overhill Cherokee occupation at the 
Tanasee site. The unassociated funerary objects from these graves 
include 21 projectile points; one chipped stone flake; ten metal 
objects including brass buttons, a brass arrow point, a brass rumbler 
bell, iron scissors, strike-a-light and knife blade and other iron and 
brass fragments; animal bone fragments; one bone comb; one pottery 
sherd; approximately 10,748 glass beads of various sizes and colors; 
and 10 beads made from conch shells.
    The Tomotley site (40MR5) was excavated as a result of the Tellico 
Reservoir project. Nineteen graves are attributed to the historic 
Overhill Cherokee occupation of the site. The funerary objects from 
these graves include 216 metal objects comprised of iron tacks, knives, 
a straight razor, needle shanks, and a bayonet; silver objects include 
a ring, ear rings, brooches and shirt sleeve links; brass wire; brass 
sheet fragments; one brass necklace; pewter shirt sleeve links; one 
copper tube; one lead shot and ball; 30 fragments of glass; one glass 
mirror fragment; botanical remains including burned wood and seven 
cloth fragments; two lots of vermillion; one piece of lead; one chipped 
stone gun flint; approximately 8,545 glass beads; one shell bead; and 
39 copper beads.
    The Toqua site (40MR6) was excavated as a result of the Tellico 
Reservoir project. Nineteen graves are attributed to the historic 
Overhill Cherokee occupation of the site. Unassociated funerary objects 
include 52 pieces of metal comprised of four brass buttons, a bell, 
wire, bracelets, disks, ornaments, one gun part, one iron gun barrel, 
strike-a-light, scissors, one hoe, two pewter buttons, a copper kettle, 
a silver brooch, and three lead musket balls; two projectile points; 
three gun flints; five chipped stone objects; six shell pendants; three 
pieces of glass; three samples of red ochre; three mink skull 
fragments; one piece of cord possibly used with a tinkler; 
approximately 11,294 glass beads of various sizes and colors; and six 
shell beads.
    The Citico site (40MR7) was excavated as a result of the Tellico 
Reservoir project. There were twenty-five graves attributed to the 
historic Overhill Cherokee occupation of the site. The unassociated 
funerary objects from these graves include 145 objects made of metal 
including copper objects comprised of five bells, beads, cones used as 
tinklers, five rings, tubes and pendants; brass items comprised of 
``C'' bracelets, 28 buttons, and a neck collar ornament; iron items 
comprised of two razors, ``C'' bracelets, cones used as tinklers, 
finger rings, a knife, an awl with a bone handle and an axe; three 
silver tube beads; animal bone; two bone or antler ear pins; leather 
fragments; five samples of vermillion and red ochre; one quartz 
crystal; fabric fragments; wood pieces; three shell gorgets; two shell 
ear pins; one shell bead; one steatite pipe; one ground whetstone; and 
approximately 3,949 glass beads of various sizes and colors.

Determinations Made by the TVA and McClung Museum

    Officials of the TVA and McClung Museum have determined that:
     Pursuant to 25 U.S.C. 3001(3)(B), the approximately 54,000 
cultural items of which approximately 53,000 are glass beads 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.
     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 above and the Cherokee Nation, Oklahoma; 
Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians of North Carolina; and the United 
Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians in Oklahoma (hereinafter referred to 
as ``The Tribes'').

Additional Requestors and Disposition

    Representatives of any other Indian tribe that believes itself to 
be culturally affiliated with the unassociated funerary objects should 
contact Dr. Thomas O. Maher, TVA, 400 West Summit Hill Drive, WT 11D, 
Knoxville, TN 37902-

[[Page 73660]]

1401, telephone (865) 632-7458 before December 29, 2011. Repatriation 
of the unassociated funerary objects to The Tribes may proceed after 
that date if no additional claimants come forward.
    The TVA is responsible for notifying The Tribes that this notice 
has been published.

    Dated: November 22, 2011.
Sherry Hutt,
Manager, National NAGPRA Program.
[FR Doc. 2011-30618 Filed 11-28-11; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4312-50-P





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