Grave Desecration
and Archaeological Discoveries

Links to other articles and information

NOTE: Ceremonial and burial articles being returned have shown traces of arsenic - also mercury, DDT, and other poisons were used for preservation.

This is an index to ongoing issues concerning the desecration of graves and the stealing and selling of religious and ceremonial articles of Native American Indians.

No respect is being shown, either for the feelings of people, or for the applicable laws, such as the American Indian Religious Freedom Act, the Archaeological Resources Protection Act of 1979, and the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act.

Graves are being trampled, bodies of ancestors are being bulldozed, clothing and bodies are being sold. Irresponsible people are in charge of some of the archaeological digs.

Indifference, and in some instances an intention of genocide, are blocking the peace process and the healing of wounds that are hundreds of years old.

Here are some examples of these atrocities. Each is a different instance - some worse than others - some involve only ignorance - and some folks are learning.

What they all have in common is disrespect.

We will open the ball with an email (consisting of three emails) from Deb Huglin that is a good example of the dialog concerning Townsend and of the under/overlying issues rampant in the current uses of archaeology.
Also a great review of history.

You can start here and think backwards - or read the last one first and have a good time that way, too!

At the end of this article are links to matters and people mentioned.

Subject: [Fwd: Townsend- no such thing as save archeology]
Date: Friday, March 17, 2000 3:09 PM
Benita J. Howell, PhD
Anthropology Department
250 South Stadium Hall
University of Tennessee
Knoxville, TN 37996-0720

Dear Benita,
I am an archaeologist who has worked both in the States and abroad. As you are in a university situation, I thought perhaps you would be interested in the fact that there is no "save" archaeology. Rather, when any archaeological or historically significant site is breached in any form of development (including roadways), the appropriate procedure is to stop and reroute the project so as not to disturb the site in any way.

This anthropological development of a "save archaeology" form of terminology and the "business" of exchanging excavations and studies for money with developers (private or government) is a very recent development, mainly in the United States.

This development has grown to nightmare proportions in regards to indigenous burials, habitations, sacred places and technology areas. This has been further enhanced for the worse by the appointment of National PArks Service archaeology division to "handle" NAGPRA enforcement.

Rather than working with the tribes and indigenous cultural groups assisting and protecting indigenous archaeological sites, the NPS Archaeology division has misappropriated all the NAGPRA funds to assist the developers and scientists who would readily dig up everything and anything in the entire country.

They have created a miasma of paperwork which is unintelligible for the indigenous people but simple for government agencies and developers. They have created lengthy and expensive legal battles out of ridiculous stipulations about genetic and other finite scientific "studies" relating to the archaeology they are mishandling, while they totally ignore the oral traditions of the very people they are paid to assist in every way!

That people inside of university and post-secondary educational systems are giving lip service to the "Save" version of archaeology mainly to generate collections and revenue from digging indiscriminently is preposterous. In Tennessee alone in the past 20 years, there have been over 150,000 exhumations of indigenous burials! Most of this was sanctioned by (you got it) the NPS Archaeology division under the lip service that they are doing someone somewhere favors in regards to NAGPRA.

So here it is:

There is no "save" archaeology.

The only reason this stuff is going on with the research and "removal" is because the developers and state agencies have forked out massive amounts of money to give archaeologists, anthropologists and other "professionals" salaries and stipends to do their "studies", "research", and "excavations".

It is blood money to keep them quiet.

Much of the burial goods and some of the human remains of the 150,000 + exhumations is missing, and likely either in private collections or being sold on the Gem Channel (which freely hawks even lithic tools which bear the unmistakable numbers of excavations right on them).

This needs to stop. The only way is if the people involved in anthropology departments recognize this is an anthropological trend which needs and deserves both study and social and cultural rectification.

This is cultural and archaeological genocide.

It is totally unacceptable to anyone with morals and ethics. Ask the tribal leaders. Ask the Chattanooga Intertribal council. Ask the repatriation committee of the National Congress of the American Indian. Ask the local people who aren't red at all about seeing kids and loved ones dug up for no good reason...

Please at least try and understand that whatever anyone in universities or governments want is not necessarily ok just because they have a name or backing. In fact, to know how long anthropologists have been questioning these activities and the mistreatment of indigenous Americans, check out "Mukat's People", an anthro book from the early 1970's The whole front half of the book takes the first cold hard anthropological look at the events in post-secondary and governmental situations involving the ethnic "materials" and the people that go with them, and how they have been handled one way or the other.

Also, there is the element on line and in the community who attempt to create chaos and animosity through misinformation. These people are just as out of line as the government agents who are creating such an atmosphere of distrust and anger.

It is likely that they are related, and the fact that the misinformation is on places which are "hung up" on repatriation of moral and ethical treatment of indigenous burials after the free-wheeling of developers and state agencies for the past two decades is a strong motivator in the anthropological sense. There is money or other gain to be had for the participants.

Why do you assume that the perpetrators could be somehow manipulated into not continuing their subterfuge and genocidal practices at this late date in the "game"?

In this regard, you are simply participating in the perpetration as you have been conditioned to do by the propaganda techniques of the post-secondary anthro departments in the U.S. Ask your foreign colleagues if this is normal where they are... just for a reality check.

Americans are famous for not practicing science in research and investigation in the field of indigenous North and Central Americans.

Even though the oral traditions of over 1000 tribes and cultural groups clearly have always stated the People have lived on Turtle Island since Creation, and clearly give reference to giant (pleistocene) animals and the Great Flood, anthro departments in the U.S. insist they "migrated" from parts unknown.

Why? Who would gain from such a hypothesis?

Well, think about the Department of the Interior and their Mining and other land use businesses... and remember the Dine' and their Hopi relatives (most have common relatives since the incarceration on reservations a century ago) are being displaced as you read this at Black Mesa. Why? For their coal. How? Because with the anthro backing of the migration hypothesis, the U.S. governmental agencies have bent Darwinistic survival theory to make "migration" = "invasion" at which time it is the "survival of the fittest invader".

The anthro departments stand to gain both governmental monetary support and more indigenous goods for their collections. Hand in hand... The migration hypothesis has nothing whatsoever to do with science. And the NPS archaeologists are personally involved in an attempt to "prove" that the Kennewick remains are some guy who migrated here from parts unknown.

They are paid specifically by the DOI, that is who pays the bulk of their salary. Plus they are draining the funds which would have protected the indigenous population and their dead relatives from these hustlers.

Think hard here. There is a clear anthropological picture if you just stop seeing what the government backed university presses have been putting in print on the American Indian against and despite indigenous opposition.

I would be happy to discuss this event further with you, should you wake up from the propaganda instilled in anthro departments via government funding during the "extinction" program in the early 1900's.

Guess what, nobody is extinct.

The government agencies just try and pretend they aren't related to anything or anyone in the way of their development... it is a displacement tactic that Hitler lauded the U.S. government on as he took steps to handle his "ethnic problem" with U.S. government and post-secondary institutional isolation and numbering of tribes and individuals... to make them get extinct one way or the other to take their land and even their ancestors' bones.

Deb Huglin
Coordinating Archaeologist
Repatriation NOW!

In reference to:
-----Original Message-----
From: sandy
To: Benita J. Howell
Date: Wednesday, March 15, 2000 8:09 AM
Subject: Re: Fw: Townsend Tennessee

Thank You for your prompt reply to my letter that in itself means a lot to me. As for who has informed me of these things: we all know how rumors run. So I come and ask you and your colleagues under the Freedom of Information act: I ask to be sent a copy of the following items.

I request, archaeology survey, archaeology summary archaeologist notes of each archaeologist involved in the Townsend archaeology site. From all of 1999 thru this day of March 15, 2000.
Thank you

-----Original Message-----
From: Benita J. Howell
To: sandy
Date: Wednesday, March 15, 2000 4:42 AM
Subject: Re: Fw: Townsend Tennessee

Ms. S: As you are aware, I work in the Anthropology Department at the University of Tennessee, although not as an archaeologist. I am sorry that you have been misinformed as to what is transpiring with the highway project in Townsend.

From my interactions with my colleagues who are archaeologists, it does seem that our Department of Transportation often resists taking the proper steps to safeguard archaeological sites and burials. In this case, however, archaeologists are at work determining what archaeological and human remains lie in the path of the highway project.

They are NOT removing burials. They are engaged in this project with the Eastern Band of Cherokee fully aware of what is going on. The Eastern band will collaborate in any decisions to be made about mitigation The alternative to archaeological survey and mitigation is for the bulldozers to plow right through whatever is in the path of the road.

Surely you don't find this preferable to having the Cherokee make decisions about reburial of their ancestors' bones in another resting place should that be necessary. The days of digging up bones and placing them in labs are long over; UT archaeologists comply fully with state and federal legislation concerning protection of graves.

Please ask the people who stirred up this red herring issue to inform themselves of the facts.
Benita J. Howell, PhD
Anthropology Department
250 South Stadium Hall
University of Tennessee
Knoxville, TN 37996-0720

Editor Note: Well, we will see. The way I tally this one up is that Benita seems to have good intentions and cares about respecting folks. Sandy did not get the information she asked for. (Unless that "carbon copy" to the Secretary of the State government was effective.)

And I don't even ever want Deb angry with me. Especially revealing is (I typed "was" and then reconsidered) the parallel shown between American and Hitlerian tactics.

Hopefully, more folks like Sandy will take an interest in this issue, for until there is respect there will be no peace.

Here is a separate page with a dialog showing that auction houses are still contuing to sell burial items in defiance of laws.

A series of emails concerning the Burial Moccasins

West Virginia Hunting Ground

Ten thousand years ago (8,000 B.C.) where the Guyandotte and Mud Rivers meet in West Virginia, hunters built fire pits and sat down for a meal. They left pottery shards, an indication that they were changing from their wandering ways.

This discovery was made while bodies were being moved from an 1830-1850 graveyard that was used by the Merritts and the Strupes, founders in that area.

Though a Morgantown archaeologist, Gloria Gozdzik, says that the hunting ground "Is an impressive find," excavation has gone ahead to make way for a state prison.

New Articles in this issue of Four Corners Postcard

Shaver's/Shaeffer's Eddy         St. Louis Mounds         Tennessee Graves

Five Tribes Council: NAGPRA Policy Statement

Burial Moccasins: An illegal auction.

URLs to Information on Grave Desecration
Pertaining to the above articles.

Southeastern Anti-Desecration League (SEAL)         About Duck Hunting Access

The Southeastern Mounds Page         Five Tribes Council: NAGPRA Policy Statement

Links to Related Articles
in previous Four Corners Clamors
Cheyenne: Journey of "The Pipe" Give It Back Law Dies of Old Age
Gambling Ceremonial Items Returned Broken Treaty Fix-All
The Right To Believe Black Mesa Report Mummies of the Southwest
A declaration and law that natives are interested parties
Sacred Items Return Sacred Objects Returned
These next four articles are very strange, as they show clearly the conflict between the Native American Indians who are trying to protect their burial grounds, and the "tribal leaders" who are willing to allow grave desecration for money. Gotcha!
These first three articles are in order in the same Clamor Six, to save clicking back and forth. Scroll down a couple to see the money report.
New Deal Hopi/Peabody Coal No Deal With Peabody Coal Peabody Skips Town
Money report: The paper trail to intra-tribal collusion.

Two examples of recent rampant destruction.
Crazy Horse Memorial: In the name of "respect."
Mendota: Cultural Genocide Of An "Unrecognized" People

For Your Information
American Indian Religious Freedom Act
Archaeological Resources Protection Act of 1979
Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act
United Nations Convention
on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide

So. What do you think? Here is how it sits with me: There was a time I did not know; this was ignorance. Then came the time that I did not think this had anything to do with me; indifference. Now I realize that whether or not a pain is personal to me, that pain still exists; empathy.

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