[Federal Register: August 20, 2009 (Volume 74, Number 160)]
[Notices]
[Page 42098-42100]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr20au09-63]

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DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

National Park Service


Notice of Inventory Completion: Fernbank Museum of Natural
History, Atlanta, GA

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 3003, of the
completion of an inventory of human remains and associated funerary
objects in the possession of the Fernbank Museum of Natural History,
Atlanta, GA. The human remains and associated funerary objects were
removed from St. Catherines Island, Liberty County, GA.
    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 human remains and associated funerary objects. The National
Park Service is not responsible for the determinations in this notice.
    A detailed inventory and assessment of the human remains and
funerary objects was made by Fernbank Museum of Natural History
curatorial staff, aided by published reports and other documentation
prepared by the American Museum of Natural History, and in consultation
with the Alabama-Quassarte Tribal Town, Oklahoma; Muscogee (Creek)
Nation, Oklahoma; Poarch Band of Creek Indians of Alabama; Seminole
Nation of Oklahoma; Seminole Tribe of Florida (Dania, Big Cypress,
Brighton, Hollywood & Tampa Reservations); and the Thlopthlocco Tribal
Town, Oklahoma.
    The human remains and associated funerary objects described in this
notice are from the St. Catherines Island Foundation and Edward John
Noble Foundation Archeological Collection, and were removed from sites
on privately-owned land on St. Catherines Island, GA, during research
conducted under the auspices of the Edward John Noble and the St.
Catherines Island Foundations. A phased transfer of the collection to
Fernbank Museum of Natural History was initiated in 2004, under a gift
agreement with both foundations, and will be completed by January 2010.
Presently, Fernbank Museum is in possession of approximately 90 percent
of the collection by volume. Except for those individuals and
associated funerary objects described in this notice, most of the
collection is determined to be culturally unidentifiable. The
curatorial staff of the Fernbank Museum do not believe it is possible
to trace a shared group identity between present-day Indian tribes and
human remains and associated funerary objects that pre-date the late
prehistoric Mississippian (Irene) Period (A.D. 1350-1580) on the
Georgia coast, since the preponderance of evidence presently available
from archeological, ethnohistorical, and other relevant sources does
not establish a clear historical affiliation.

[[Page 42099]]

    In 1969-1970, human remains were removed from Johns Mound (9LI18),
Liberty County, GA, during archeological excavations conducted by the
University of Georgia under the direction of Dr. Joseph R. Caldwell.
The human remains were subsequently subjected to bioarcheological study
under the direction of Dr. Clark Spencer Larsen, working in
collaboration with the American Museum of Natural History. After
storage for intervals at the University of Georgia and on St.
Catherines Island, the human remains were transferred to the Fernbank
Museum by the Edward John Noble Foundation in 2004. Of the 72
individuals removed, only 2 have been determined to be culturally
affiliated. No known individuals were identified. The six associated
funerary objects are three ceramic vessels, two bone pins, and one set
of fragments of small shell beads.
    The majority of the human remains from Johns Mound are determined
to be culturally unidentifiable. Exceptions to this determination
concern two intrusive burials in Johns Mound with associated materials
that date them to the historic Contact (Altamaha) Period (A.D. 1580-
1700). Curatorial staff of the Fernbank Museum reasonably believe,
based on historical geography, general continuities of material
culture, and probable linguistic continuity across the Late
Prehistoric/Contact Period boundary, as well as previous NAGPRA
determinations for human remains and funerary objects from the Georgia
coast, that a relationship of shared group identity can be traced
between the historic Contact (Altamaha) Period inhabitants of coastal
Georgia and six present-day Indian tribes. These six Indian tribes are
the Alabama-Quassarte Tribal Town, Oklahoma; Muscogee (Creek) Nation,
Oklahoma; Poarch Band of Creek Indians of Alabama; Seminole Nation of
Oklahoma; Seminole Tribe of Florida (Dania, Big Cypress, Brighton,
Hollywood & Tampa Reservations); and the Thlopthlocco Tribal Town,
Oklahoma.
    In 1976-1977, human remains were removed from Seaside Mound II
(9LI62), Liberty County, GA, during archeological excavations conducted
by the American Museum of Natural History under the direction of Dr.
David Hurst Thomas. The human remains were subsequently subjected to
bioarchaeological study under the direction of Dr. Larsen, working in
collaboration with the American Museum of Natural History. After
storage for intervals at the American Museum of Natural History and on
St. Catherines Island, the human remains were transferred to the
Fernbank Museum by the Edward John Noble Foundation in 2004. Of the 19
individuals removed, only 3 have been determined to be culturally
affiliated. No known individuals were identified. No associated
funerary objects recovered from the site were transferred to the
Fernbank Museum.
    The majority of the human remains from Seaside Mound II are
determined to be culturally unidentifiable. Exceptions to this
determination concern three intrusive burials in Seaside Mound II with
associated materials that date them to the late prehistoric
Mississippian (Irene) Period (A.D. 1350-1580). Curatorial staff of the
Fernbank Museum reasonably believe, based on historical geography,
general continuities of material culture, and probable linguistic
continuity across the Late Prehistoric/Contact Period boundary, as well
as previous NAGPRA determinations for human remains and funerary
objects from the Georgia coast, that a relationship of shared group
identity can be traced between the historic Contact (Altamaha) Period
inhabitants of coastal Georgia and six present-day Indian tribes. These
six Indian tribes are the Alabama-Quassarte Tribal Town, Oklahoma;
Muscogee (Creek) Nation, Oklahoma; Poarch Band of Creek Indians of
Alabama; Seminole Nation of Oklahoma; Seminole Tribe of Florida (Dania,
Big Cypress, Brighton, Hollywood & Tampa Reservations); and the
Thlopthlocco Tribal Town, Oklahoma.
    In 1986, and from 1991 to 1993, human remains representing at least
37 individuals were removed from South End Mound I (9LI3), Liberty
County, GA, during archeological excavations. In 1986, the excavations
were conducted by the American Museum of Natural History under the
direction of Dr. Thomas. In 1991-1993, the excavations were conducted
under the direction of Dr. Larsen. The human remains were subsequently
subjected to bioarcheological study under the direction of Dr. Larsen.
After storage for intervals at Purdue University, University of North
Carolina - Chapel Hill, American Museum of Natural History, and on St.
Catherines Island, the human remains were transferred to the Fernbank
Museum by the Edward John Noble Foundation in 2004. No known
individuals were identified. No associated funerary objects recovered
from the site were transferred to the Fernbank Museum.
    Based on associated material culture and radiocarbon dating
results, the curatorial staff of the Fernbank Museum believes it is
reasonable to trace a relationship of shared group identity between the
late prehistoric Mississippian (Irene) Period (A.D. 1350-1580) and the
historic Contact (Altamaha) Period (A.D. 1580-1700) inhabitants of
coastal Georgia and six present-day Indian tribes. These six Indian
tribes are the Alabama-Quassarte Tribal Town, Oklahoma; Muscogee
(Creek) Nation, Oklahoma; Poarch Band of Creek Indians of Alabama;
Seminole Nation of Oklahoma; Seminole Tribe of Florida (Dania, Big
Cypress, Brighton, Hollywood & Tampa Reservations); and the
Thlopthlocco Tribal Town, Oklahoma. This determination is made on the
basis of historical geography, general continuities of material
culture, and probable linguistic continuity across the Late
Prehistoric/Contact Period boundary, as well as previous NAGPRA
determinations for human remains and funerary objects from the Georgia
coast.
    In 1982-1986, human remains representing 431 individuals were
removed from the site of Mission Santa Catalina de Guale (9LI274),
Liberty County, GA, during archeological excavations conducted by the
American Museum of Natural History under the direction of Dr. Thomas
and Dr. Larsen. The human remains were subsequently subjected to
bioarcheological study under the direction of Dr. Larsen, working in
collaboration with the American Museum of Natural History. After
storage for intervals at Northern Illinois University and on St.
Catherines Island, most of the human remains were reburied at the site
on two occasions. In May 1984, three coffins containing human remains
were returned to the cemetery in conjunction with a ceremony to
reconsecrate the Catholic church site, conducted by Bishop Raymond
Lessard. In April 2000, additional human remains were placed in 26
individual, specially built containers and reburied in the same
location, in a ceremony presided over by an ordained Presbyterian
minister. The human remains of at least 18 individuals from the mission
site are now in possession of the Fernbank Museum. These remains are
all teeth that were apparently separated from the reinterred material.
No known individuals were identified. No associated funerary objects
have been transferred to the Fernbank Museum.
    Based on associated material culture and radiocarbon dating
results, the curatorial staff of Fernbank Museum believe it is
reasonable to trace a relationship of shared group identity between the
historic Contact (Altamaha) Period (A.D. 1580-1700) inhabitants of
coastal Georgia at mission Santa

[[Page 42100]]

Catalina de Guale and six present-day Indian tribes. This determination
is made on the basis of historical geography, general continuities of
material culture, and probable linguistic continuity across the Late
Prehistoric/Contact Period boundary, as well as previous NAGPRA
determinations for human remains and funerary objects from the Georgia
coast. These six Indian tribes are the Alabama-Quassarte Tribal Town,
Oklahoma; Muscogee (Creek) Nation, Oklahoma; Poarch Band of Creek
Indians of Alabama; Seminole Nation of Oklahoma; Seminole Tribe of
Florida (Dania, Big Cypress, Brighton, Hollywood & Tampa Reservations);
and the Thlopthlocco Tribal Town, Oklahoma.
    Officials of the Fernbank Museum of Natural History have determined
that, pursuant to 25 U.S.C. 3001 (9-10), the human remains described
above represent the physical remains of 60 individuals of Native
American ancestry. Officials of the Fernbank Museum of Natural History
also have determined that, pursuant to 25 U.S.C. 3001 (3)(A), the six
objects 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. Lastly, officials of the Fernbank
Museum of Natural History have determined that, pursuant to 25 U.S.C.
3001 (2), there is a relationship of shared group identity which can be
reasonably traced between the Native American human remains and
associated funerary objects and the Alabama-Quassarte Tribal Town,
Oklahoma; Muscogee (Creek) Nation, Oklahoma; Poarch Band of Creek
Indians of Alabama; Seminole Nation of Oklahoma; Seminole Tribe of
Florida (Dania, Big Cypress, Brighton, Hollywood & Tampa Reservations);
and the Thlopthlocco Tribal Town, Oklahoma.
    Representatives of any other Indian tribe that believes itself to
be culturally affiliated with the human remains and associated funerary
objects should contact Dennis B. Blanton, Curator - Native American
Archaeology, Fernbank Museum of Natural History, 767 Clifton Rd. NE.,
Atlanta, GA 30307-1221, telephone: (404) 929-6304, before September 21,
2009. Repatriation of the human remains and associated funerary objects
to the Alabama-Quassarte Tribal Town, Oklahoma; Muscogee (Creek)
Nation, Oklahoma; Poarch Band of Creek Indians of Alabama; Seminole
Nation of Oklahoma; Seminole Tribe of Florida (Dania, Big Cypress,
Brighton, Hollywood & Tampa Reservations); and the Thlopthlocco Tribal
Town, Oklahoma may proceed after that date if no additional claimants
come forward.
    The Fernbank Museum of Natural History is responsible for notifying
the Alabama-Quassarte Tribal Town, Oklahoma; Muscogee (Creek) Nation,
Oklahoma; Poarch Band of Creek Indians of Alabama; Seminole Nation of
Oklahoma; Seminole Tribe of Florida (Dania, Big Cypress, Brighton,
Hollywood & Tampa Reservations); and the Thlopthlocco Tribal Town,
Oklahoma that this notice has been published.

    Dated: August 5, 2009.
Sherry Hutt,
Manager, National NAGPRA Program.
[FR Doc. E9-19983 Filed 8-19-09; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4312-50-S




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