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27 November 2005
Suffolk County to reinter ancient bones near Indian site

Suffolk County (New York, USA) plans to reinter bones and artifacts found in what's believed to be an American Indian burial site in Riverhead.
     County leaders talked to leaders of the nearest functioning tribe, the Shinnecock, about what to do with the items, which included a ceramic pipe and parts of a bowl. The tribe requested they be allowed to rebury the items in a private ceremony near the original site. The reburial site won't be marked for security reasons.
     The pieces were found in mid-October after storm weather eroded the banks of the Peconic River at Indian Island County Park. Archaeologists said the bones could have been buried between 800 BCE to 800 CE, called the Early Woodland period. Tribal policy won't allow displaying or retaining the items.
     Forensic anthropologist Vincent Stefan, who examined the pieces of skull and jawbone, said he'd need more remains, artifacts or a fuller excavation to determine the exact race or ancestry of the people buried. However, the Shinnecock tribe did not support further exploration.

Source: New York Newsday (25 November 2005)

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