[Federal Register: August 20, 2009 (Volume 74, Number 160)]
[Page 42105]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



National Park Service

Notice of Inventory Completion: New York University College of
Dentistry, New York, NY

AGENCY: National Park Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice.


    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 in the possession of the
New York University College of Dentistry, New York, NY. The human
remains were removed from Cape Nome, Nome County, AK.
    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. The National Park Service is not responsible
for the determinations in this notice.
    A detailed assessment of the human remains was made by New York
University College of Dentistry professional staff in consultation with
representatives of the Nome Eskimo Community.
    At an unknown date, human remains representing a minimum of one
individual were removed from an unidentified site at Cape Nome, AK, by
an unknown individual. By 1924, the human remains were donated to the
Museum of the American Indian, Heye Foundation by Mrs. George Heye. In
1956, the human remains were transferred to Dr. Theodore Kazamiroff,
New York University College of Dentistry. No known individual was
identified. No associated funerary objects are present.
    Museum of the American Indian records list the locality of origin
as Cape Nome, AK. The human remains are well-preserved and the
morphology is consistent with Native American ancestry. There are four
cultural phases for the Cape Nome area, the Denbigh Flint Complex,
Norton, Birnirk, and Cape Nome phases. Because preservation of human
remains is extremely rare for sites in the Cape Nome region that
predate the Cape Nome phase, it is likely that the human remains date
to the Cape Nome phase, circa A.D. 1000-1800. The Cape Nome phase
corresponds to the Western Thule tradition of the Bering Sea region. In
the Western Thule tradition, the people of the Seward Peninsula were
highly localized, with differences in their lifeways based on the
particular resources available in their territory. Localization may
have occurred alongside the development of geopolitical boundaries.
Cape Nome was a coastal area with a focus on smaller sea mammals.
    Cape Nome was part of the Ayaasaeiarmiut or Cape Nome territory of
Inupiaq speakers at the time of Euroamerican contact. Burials at Cape
Nome were described by Edward Nelson in the late 19th century. Nelson
observed that human remains were placed in wooden boxes that were
elevated onto poles. The boxes were exposed to the elements and highly
visible to collectors.
    Archeological and consultation evidence indicates that the
Ayaasaeiarmiut Inupiaq inhabited the Cape Nome area since at least A.D.
1000. Today, the descendants of the people of Cape Nome are represented
by the Nome Eskimo Community.
    Officials of New York University College of Dentistry have
determined that, pursuant to 25 U.S.C. 3001 (9-10), the human remains
described above represent the physical remains of one individual of
Native American ancestry. Officials of New York University College of
Dentistry also have determined that, pursuant to 25 U.S.C. 3001 (2),
there is a relationship of shared group identity that can be reasonably
traced between the Native American human remains and the Nome Eskimo
    Representatives of any other Indian tribe that believes itself to
be culturally affiliated with the human remains should contact Dr.
Louis Terracio, New York University College of Dentistry, 345 East 24th
St., New York, NY 10010, telephone (212) 998-9917, before September 21,
2009. Repatriation of the human remains to the Nome Eskimo Community
may proceed after that date if no additional claimants come forward.
    The New York University College of Dentistry is responsible for
notifying the Nome Eskimo Community that this notice has been

    Dated: July 24, 2009.
Sherry Hutt,
Manager, National NAGPRA Program.
[FR Doc. E9-19961 Filed 8-19-09; 8:45 am]


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