Back in February we learned that the extremely old remains of a person thought to be of Native American descent were found during the excavation for the Transbay Transit Center. It turns out the official protocols for dealing with such remains still wind on, and as local protocol-hater C.W. Nevius tells us, it may end with this skeleton being reburied under the building.
The remains have been determined by experts to be those of an American Indian, likely of the Ohlone tribe, dating back about 7,500 years making this the oldest set of human remains ever discovered in San Francisco. The body was found wrapped in a way that suggests this person may have been an important member of the community, which has touched off a series of negotiations.
Per the protocol when such remains are found, a "most likely descendent" or MLD is chosen out of a group of candidates, this time out of current members of the Ohlone tribe who volunteered to put their names on a registry. This person then becomes responsible for the removal, disinterment, possible examination, and possible reinterment of the remains. The unidentified MLD in this case has not granted permission for scientists to examine the remains, and the remains are currently being stored somewhere until a decision is reached about what to do with them.
Here's what comes next:
“What happens is that the MLD will contact the property owner and will make arrangements for treatment and disposition,” [said Debbie Treadway of the California Native American Commission]. “The property owner can then accept or reject the recommendations. If they reject, they must rebury on the property.”
So, yes. This skeleton from 7,500 years ago that was found 60 feet underground may get quietly put back there before the Transit Center is complete.
I'm just gonna leave this here.
Previously: Transbay Transit Center Being Built On Native's Final Resting Place