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Protection of cultural resources at Amity Pueblo (Arizona)

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November 5, 2015

AAA President Monica Heller and Archaeology Division President Katherine Spielman sent a letter to U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director Daniel Ashe to express deep concern regarding the lack of prompt and proper treatment of the human remains of Zuni ancestors that were disturbed by blading their graves at Amity Pueblo (AZ Q:15:25 (ASM)) as a result of construction activities funded by the agency. This situation resulted when the Fish and Wildlife Service failed to comply with the legally required Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act prior to providing funding for the construction of a fishing pond near Eagar, Arizona. 

The AAA strongly supports the request of the affiliated tribes (Zuni, Acoma, Hopi, and Navajo) that all remains be collected from the berm and spoil pile that were created from digging the pond, and that bioarchaeological analyses be undertaken in order to re-associate, as much as possible, the remains of each individual. The AAA also supports a basic level of scientific analysis of the artifacts that were disturbed by the destruction of the burials as this is an important site in the archaeology of eastern Arizona and the ancestry of the Zuni people.

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