Sunday, May 19, 2013

Of course there is a UC tie

A grisly reminder of the way archaeology was done in Califronia at times:

Friday, January 18, 2013

Will the incoming Chancellor to UC Berkeley change the Hearst's stance on repatriation or maintain the status quo?

Sunday, May 6, 2012

More on the Kumeyaay repatriation case:
Now the Irish came to America 8500+ years ago: “These are not Native Americans,” said James McManis, the San Jose lawyer for the professors. “We’re sure where they’re from. They had primarily a seafood diet, not the diet if any way of these tribes. They were a seafaring people. They could be traveling Irishman who touched on the continent. “The idea that we’re going to turn this incredible treasure over to some local tribe because they think it’s grandma’s bones is crazy.” Read it all at: (And who does this guy represent in Federal court???)

Monday, January 16, 2012

Michigan works on coming clean

Alrighty, the Univ. of Michigan is working on coming clean, what about UCB?

Check out:


Sunday, September 25, 2011

Smithsonian in the news

GAO Finds that Smithsonian Institution May Still Take Several More Decades to Repatriate Native American Remains and Objects

WASHINGTON, June 13, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Smithsonian Institution's process to repatriate thousands of Native American human remains and funerary objects in its collections is lengthy and resource intensive and it may take several more decades to return items to tribes under its current system, according to the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO).

This GAO report is the second of a two-part, three-year effort to examine how publicly funded institutions are complying with the two federal laws that direct repatriation to Native Americans. Last year the GAO examined the repatriation work of eight key Federal agencies and the 1990 Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA).

According to the GAO report, Smithsonian Institution: Much Work Still Needed to Identify and Repatriate Indian Human Remains and Objects, examiners suggested that Congress should consider ways to expedite the repatriation process and that the Board of Regents considers four administrative changes.

In 1989, Congress passed a law that created a repatriation process for the Smithsonian Institution; two of the institution's 19 galleries and museums hold important collections of Native American human remains and sacred objects. The law also created the National Museum of the American Indian. Though not certain of the exact number, the Smithsonian states it has about 20,000 catalog records of Native American human remains plus many more catalog records of cultural objects held at the National Museum of Natural History and the American Indian museum. Only a quarter of these have been repatriated to the rightful Native Indian owners, according to the GAO report released in May.

In addition to not regularly reporting to Congress, federal auditors said the repatriation process is lengthy and resource intensive. Both museums use a two-step repatriation process that starts with a printout from an electronic catalogue system that lists human remains and cultural objects that is sent to the tribe. The Indian tribe is then required to file a claim to either museum indicating their interest. Only then does the museum begin a lengthy process of using the "best available information" to build a case report that may or may not recommend repatriation. This process requires an Indian tribe to review thousands of electronic records, which, many times do not contain all relevant information.

rest at

Monday, September 12, 2011

Kenniwick Man

Any surprise??? And really, what has come out of the Hearst's collection the last 5 years? Earthshaking research?


“Has there been any new information gained from human remains known as Kennewick Man or the Ancient One?”

Prior to any court rulings, a thorough examination of the skeletal remains was conducted by independent scientists contracted by the government in 1998-2000. The complete results of their studies are available online. This report includes the physical examination of the remains, radiocarbon dating, and initial attempts to extract DNA from the remains, which failed.

In 2002, Judge Jelderks ruled that the remains did not fit the definition of “Native American” under Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA). This decision was primarily based on the fact that the human remains, based on their antiquity, could not be clearly connected with any present day Native American tribe. This decision was appealed by the government and later upheld by the U.S. Court of Appeals in 2004. The scientists who took part as plaintiffs in the case have since studied the remains on three separate occasions between 2004 and 2006. Other than popular articles, the recent research conducted by the plaintiff scientists has not been published in scientific journals.

rest at

Monday, August 22, 2011

More on the UCSD situation

Ever since the remains of three ancient humans were unearthed in 1976 on property owned by the University of California at San Diego (UCSD), the Kumeyaay people have been engaged in a complex battle to have the remains repatriated to them. This would be against the wishes of many University of California (UC) scientists, who want to keep them for further study, a stance that is now opposed by UCSD administrators. But after decades of wrangling, recent actions by UCSD and the scientists who oppose repatriation have brought the remains once again into the spotlight.

The site of UCSD, on the bluffs of La Jolla in north San Diego County overlooking the Pacific Ocean, is some of the world’s prime real estate, but for the 12 bands of the Kumeyaay Nation, it has been part of their ancestral territory for at least 10,000 years, and likely longer. In 1976, three unusual burials (two adults and a child) were exposed by erosion at the university chancellor’s house (also known as University House)—unusual for how well-preserved they were, and how old they are. Archeologists estimate the remains at between 9,000 and 9,600 years old, making them possibly the oldest uncovered human remains in the continental United States. To archeologists like Eske Willerslev at the University of Copenhagen in Denmark, they are the “crown jewels of the peopling of the Americas.” For the Kumeyaay, the “find” was yet another in a long line of desecrations at the site. The house has since been declared unlivable due to a variety of code violations, and recent plans to renovate the house have been hampered, in part because a draft environmental impact report revealed more burials on the site, causing it to be declared a “sanctified cemetery” by the state in 2008.

rest at

Monday, July 18, 2011

Glen Cove settlement reached

Vallejo compromises on park at Indian burial site

Carolyn Jones, Chronicle Staff Writer

Saturday, July 16, 2011
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Brant Ward / The Chronicle

Spiritual leader Fred Short emerges from his teepee at Glen Cove Park, where protesters had camped, on Thursday. The city agreed Friday to share development rights with two tribes.

Vallejo officials agreed this week to dramatically scale back plans for a park on an American Indian burial ground, in response to protesters who have been camped on the site for three months.

The Vallejo parks board and City Council agreed to share development rights of Glen Cove park with two Northern California tribes whose ancestors likely lived there. The deal means the tribes must agree to development of the site, including restrooms, trails and other amenities protesters have been fighting.

The agreement caps a 12-year battle over Glen Cove, a 15-acre plot along Carquinez Strait. The park district planned for picnic tables, a parking lot, bathrooms, benches, an extension of the Bay Trail and the replacement of nonnative plants with natives.

The district planned to break ground on the $1.3 million project in April, but before the bulldozers rolled in, American Indians and their supporters erected teepees, tents and a campfire, claiming the ground was sacred.

Read more:

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

More on Glen Cove

Heard Around the West

A Just West
Paving over an ancient burial ground
Document Actions

Marc Dadigan | Jun 09, 2011 01:00 PM

15-acres of undeveloped landscape sits as an oasis among the undulating, cookie cutter housing developments that crowd the edges of the Carquinez Strait, a natural tidal channel in Vallejo, California.

At this spot, known as Glen Cove Waterfront Park, a swath of yellow grass, dappled with the woody stems of wild fennel, leads to the water’s edge where Eucalyptus trees tower above marshy banks. The occasional clatter of trundling trains across the strait is the only sound that breaks the peace.

For many local residents, it’s a calming place away from the sprawled-out landscape that expands from the Bay Area.

rest at