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Prehistoric remains reburied at Diamond Point

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The remains of a prehistoric woman recently were laid to rest in Diamond Point.

 

Guy Tasa, state psychical anthropologist for the Department of Archeology & Historic Preservation, confirmed a roughly 2,000-year-old Native American woman was buried during a private ceremony on Oct. 1.

 

Excavators found the woman’s partial remains on August 23 while replacing a septic tank.

 

Deputies with Clallam County Sheriff’s Department reported to the scene and quickly learned it to be a historic site and not linked to recent criminal activity, so the site was turned over to the Department of Archaeology.

 

Both deputies and staff from the Department of Archaeology and Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe sifted through dirt and sand Sept. 3-5 looking for more bones.

 

Tasa said they recovered about 50 percent of the woman during screening. He assumes the rest of her is in the walls of the excavation.

 

“We reburied her pretty close to where she was found,” he said.

 

Initially, Tasa contacted nine area tribes in Clallam County to see if they have any interest in the findings.

It was determined the remains be reburied on site.  

 

Representatives from the Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe and Port Gamble S’Klallam Tribe and a spiritual leader from Jamestown led the ceremony.

 

Tasa said the event was fairly quick with a smudging ceremony for cleansing with some prayers before the remains were covered over.

 

The prehistoric remains was the first of their type to be discovered in the area but how old they are is hard to tell, Tasa said.

 

“I tell people a couple of thousand at the most, which seems like a lot to most, but people have been here a lot longer than that,” he said.

 

Looking back on the process, Tasa considers it a success.

 

“Anytime we can return the remains for the tribe and the landowner, it’s a great thing especially when a person is all there,” he said.

 

Property Owner Dave Salmon said he was fine with the whole process.

 

“It delayed me three weeks, but if it hadn’t been for the close cooperation of everybody, especially the sheriff’s department pushing it, it would have been a different story,” Salmon said.

 

No new findings have been reported in Clallam County, Tasa said.

 

“It’s not a county we get a whole lot of calls from,” he said. “It’s more from King County and Whatcom County.”

 

Press were asked not to attend the ceremony out of respect for the remains.

 

If you find remains of any sort, Tasa and local law enforcement encourage you to call 9-1-1.

 

Community Events, April 2014

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