[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 61 (Friday, March 29, 2013)]
[Notices]
[Pages 19307-19308]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-07371]


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DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

National Park Service

[NPS-WASO-NAGPRA-12404; PCU00RP14.R50000-PPWOCRADN0]


Notice of Intent To Repatriate Cultural Items: U.S. Department of 
the Interior, National Park Service, Natchez Trace Parkway, Tupelo, MS

AGENCY: National Park Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice.

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SUMMARY: The U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service, 
Natchez Trace Parkway, in consultation with the appropriate Indian 
tribes, has determined that the cultural items meet the definition of 
unassociated funerary objects and repatriation to the Indian tribe 
stated below may occur if no additional claimants come forward. 
Representatives of any Indian tribe that believes itself to be 
culturally affiliated with the cultural items may contact Natchez Trace 
Parkway.

DATES: Representatives of any Indian tribe that believes it has a 
cultural affiliation with the cultural items should contact Natchez 
Trace Parkway at the address below by April 29, 2013.

ADDRESSES: Dale Wilkerson, Acting Superintendent, Natchez Trace 
Parkway, 2680 Natchez Trace Parkway, Tupelo, MS, 38803, telephone (662) 
680-4005.

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 
possession of the U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park 
Service, Natchez Trace Parkway, Tupelo, MS 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 
Superintendent, Natchez Trace Parkway.

History and Description of the Cultural Items

    In 1963 and 1964, funerary objects were removed from the Boyd site 
in Madison County, MS, during an authorized National Park Service 
project to mitigate construction impacts from the Natchez Trace 
Parkway. The whereabouts of the human remains are unknown. The 
excavation report's description of advanced bone deterioration for 
these burials suggests the remains were left in the ground due to their 
fragility. The 461 unassociated funerary objects are 1 jar, 6 bifaces, 
1 vessel, 2 vessel fragments, 250 glass beads, 7 nails, 1 nail 
fragment, 5 bone buttons, 8 stone knives/bifaces, 3 celts, 1 shell 
pendant, 167 shell beads, 1 quartz crystal, 1 ferruginous sandstone, 1 
ochre fragment, 3 perforators/points, and 3 shells.
    The Boyd site consists of a village area and six mounds. On the 
basis of artifacts recovered during the excavations, the village area 
is believed to have been occupied during the Woodland period (A.D. 300-
700). The six mounds were built and occupied during the Late Woodland 
through Middle Mississippian periods (A.D. 1000-1350). One burial was 
exhumed with fragments of a Baytown Plain ceramic jar, a ceramic type 
often associated with the Late Woodland and Early Mississippian period 
(A.D. 700-1200). The construction of these mounds and the presence of 
shell tempered pottery are indicative of the Middle Mississippian 
period (A.D. 1200-1350). The mounds suggest a possible centralized 
authority and thus social stratification during this period, similar to 
that found among the Natchez.
    Historical evidence indicates the dispersal of the Natchez Indians 
into Cherokee, Chickasaw, and Creek tribal groups. In 1542, Hernando de 
Soto's expedition encountered Indians along the lower Mississippi River 
believed to have been the Natchez and their allies. In 1682, the de La 
Salle expedition specifically identified the Natchez as living along 
the banks of the lower Mississippi River. Following an unsuccessful 
rebellion against the French in 1729, the Natchez were dispersed. About 
400 individuals surrendered to the French and were sent to the West 
Indies as slaves. The remaining Natchez withdrew among the Chickasaw 
and ultimately separated into two main bands, one settling among the 
Upper Creeks and the other uniting with the Cherokee. The Natchez 
language was still spoken by some in the Creek Nation until the early 
20th century and by some among the Cherokee until the 1940s. Given 
territorial proximity and complexities of modern Cherokee tribal 
alignments in Oklahoma, both the Cherokee Nation and the United 
Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians are likely to include tribal members 
of Natchez descent.
    A historic Choctaw presence is indicated by the glass beads, 
buttons, and nails found in association with an intrusive historic 
burial at the site. The glass beads are similar to those found at 
trading sites and historic Indian villages in Georgia and Alabama, 
suggesting a Choctaw occupation from the late 18th through the early 
19th centuries.

Determinations Made by Natchez Trace Parkway

    Officials of Natchez Trace Parkway have determined that:
     Pursuant to 25 U.S.C. 3001(3)(B), the 461 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

[[Page 19308]]

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 and the Cherokee Nation; Chickasaw 
Nation; Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma; Mississippi Band of Choctaw 
Indians; The Muscogee (Creek) Nation; and United Keetoowah Band of 
Cherokee Indians in Oklahoma.

Additional Requestors and Disposition

    Representatives of any other Indian tribe that believes itself to 
be culturally affiliated with the unassociated funerary objects should 
contact Dale Wilkerson, Acting Superintendent, Natchez Trace Parkway, 
2680 Natchez Trace Parkway, Tupelo, MS 38803, telephone (662) 680-4005, 
before April 29, 2013. Repatriation of the unassociated funerary 
objects to the Cherokee Nation; Chickasaw Nation; Choctaw Nation of 
Oklahoma; Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians; The Muscogee (Creek) 
Nation; and United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians in Oklahoma may 
proceed after that date if no additional claimants come forward.
    Natchez Trace Parkway is responsible for notifying the Cherokee 
Nation; Chickasaw Nation; Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma; Mississippi Band 
of Choctaw Indians; The Muscogee (Creek) Nation; and United Keetoowah 
Band of Cherokee Indians in Oklahoma that this notice has been 
published.

    Dated: February 21, 2013.
Mariah Soriano,
Acting Manager, National NAGPRA Program.
[FR Doc. 2013-07371 Filed 3-28-13; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4312-50-P



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