People of Northwest Public Radio
State Anthropologist Identifies NW Remains
Thu September 5, 2013
Historical Native American Woman's Remains Found In Clallam County
The State Anthropologist has determined remains found in a septic drain field dig are those of a Native American woman who died anywhere from several hundred to a couple thousand years ago.
A septic drain field dig at Diamond Point in Clallam County had to be halted late last month, because some Native American human remains were found by contractors. Now, Dr. Guy Tasa, the Washington state Anthropologist, has confirmed the remains are those of a Native American adult woman.
Tasa: “There are certain features that we can look for, in both the cranium and the teeth in particular that are pretty good indicators of a Native American, or hunter-gatherer person. And those are both present in this particular individual.”
What’s more difficult, Dr. Tasa says, is determining the age of the remains.
Tasa: “ We can’t peg it down too closely, but I think we’re talking at least 2, 3 hundred years old, maybe a couple of thousand but that would be really pushing it back, I think.”
Now the State Department of Archeology must help determine which tribe the remains belong to. Representatives of the Jamestown- S’Klallam tribe are already on hand. But, Dr. Tasa says several other tribes are being notified. Once the identification process of the remains is complete, they could be turned over to the proper tribe for a ceremonial burial. It’s also possible they will be returned to the site of the excavation. Then, the state, the landowner, the contractor and the tribes must decide how to proceed with the drain field project.
Copyright 2013 KUOW
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