Native American Bones Found at S.F. State

Categories: Science
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Time to go back home..
School officials came across a box of unidentified Native American bones at San Francisco State University -- a discovery that has triggered a federal law that says human remains must be returned to their Indian tribe.

S.F. State officials recently conducted a human remains survey of the school's scientific archives, and discovered a box labeled: "No Site, No., Bones, Lake Isabella, Box 1 of 1."

The remains were removed from the area around Lake Isabella in Kern County, according
to an announcement from the National Park Service's Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act program.

The tribe that used to live in that area is related to the Santa Rosa Indian Community of the Santa Rosa Rancheria. And the remains will be returned to that tribe, unless another group comes forward demonstrating a closer connection to the Kern County area tribe.

A call to the S.F. State official who is in charge of handling Native American remains has not yet been returned.

According to the National Park Service announcement:

A detailed assessment of the human remains was made by San Francisco State University professional staff in consultation with representatives of the Santa Rosa Indian Community of the Santa Rosa Rancheria, California (Tachi Yokut Tribe), and the Tubatulabals of Kern Valley, a non-Federally recognized Indian group.

On an unknown date, human remains representing a minimum of one individual were removed from an unknown site (Ca-Ker-UNK (Lake Isabella)), in Kern County, Calif. No known individual was identified. No associated funerary objects are present.

The human remains were found in a box labeled "No Site No., Bones, Lake Isabella, Box 1 of 1," indicating removal from a Native American archeological site near Lake Isabella, which is located in Kern County, Calif. In addition, the human remains were determined to be Native American because the mandibular dentition displayed significant attrition consistent with a prehistoric population. Native American origin was also indicated by the presence of red ochre on some of the skeletal elements. Based on ethnographic study and consultation with the Tubatulabals of Kern Valley, a non-Federally recognized Indian group, Lake Isabella is located in the historically documented territory of the Tubatulabal people. Based on consultation with the Tubatulabals of Kern Valley, a non-Federally recognized Indian group, and the Federally-recognized Santa Rosa Indian Community of the Santa Rosa Rancheria, California (Tachi Yokut Tribe), the Tubatulabal people from the Lake Isabella area are intermarried with Yokuts in the Kern County area. Descendants of these Yokuts and Tubatulabals are members of the Santa Rosa Indian Community of the Santa Rosa Rancheria, Calif. (Tachi Yokut Tribe) and/or the Tubatulabals of Kern Valley, a non-Federally recognized Indian group.


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