Published in The Coast Star on November 25, 1999
Base Transition Coordinator for the Army Mike Ruane explained that the archaeological survey, being performed by a six-member team of Army Core Engineers, is in the “final-step” in the Army’s closure process of the camp.
“There was a definite pattern of Native American remains found in the camp,” stated Mr. Ruane. The team of archaeologists unearthed arrowheads and pottery, along with portions of a skull and a clavicle.
The Army archaeologists estimated that the remains are over 1,000 years old. The age of the items led the archaeologists to conclude that they were a part of a Native American Burial Ground.
“The remains conform to what is known about Native American burial patterns,” explained Mr. Ruane.
Native Americans are known to have buried remains facing east, or towards the rising sun. The remains found in Camp Evans also face towards the east.
Federal regulations require that the remains be re-buried and that all state and federal Native American tribes be notified of the discovery within 72 hours. The tribes will now have the opportunity to come forward to claim the remains.
Mr. Ruane explained that the burial spot where the remains were found has been covered and marked. The archaeologists then notified the Army, who in turn, have sent letters to each individual nation.
The Army sent letters out last Friday to the following federal recognized Native American Tribes: the Western Delaware Nation, the Stockbridge-Munsee Tribal Counsel, the Delaware Nation, and the Cherokee Nation of the Oklahoma.
The Army also sent a letter to each of the following tribes in New Jersey: the Delaware Nation Grand Council of North America, the Ramapough Indian Center, the Powhattan-Renape Nation and the New Jersey Indian Office.
Henry Kearney, a Fort Monmouth spokesperson stated that “we are inviting the tribes to contact and consult with us on their desires, and if they .will request a proof of claim for the remains.”
Mr. Kearney explained that the Army is awaiting a response, and will place telephone calls to the federally recognized tribes as a followup to the letters.
“Right now, the Army cannot disclose where the remains are located, or else there would be people out here with four shovels and a bucket,” stated Mr. Ruane.
Mr. Ruane explained that when the Army transfers the property, the deed will stipulate that the site be treated as a Native American burial site.
The grave site will be preserved in respect of the religion and culture of the Native American Tribes, explained Mr. Ruane.
The archaeological survey is being performed as part of the Army’s extensive clean-up and historical survey of the buildings and land located within the 208 acre site.
Once the archaeological survey and the finishing touches of the clean-up are completed, the Army is slated to convey the property to Wall Township and Brookdale Community College in January, or early February, for civilian use.
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