American Indian Monitors Help San Gabriel Dig Site Preserve Artifacts

A human foot bone fragment has been found at the archeological dig site near the San Gabriel Mission, the Whittier Daily News reports.

The six-inch foot bone was found at the site of the Alameda Corridor East San Gabriel Trench project, a dig site that requires an American Indian monitor.  Lead archeologist John Dietler said that although the fragment cannot be confirmed as American Indian, the find certainly has spiritual significance for the Gabrieleno people.

Anthony Morales is one of the dig’s American Indian monitors. It is a state requirement that an American Indian be present at the dig. Morales was selected by project leaders from a list provided by the Native American Heritage Commission in Sacramento.  Morales is there to perserve any history that is unearthed, owing to the fact that in the past many artifacts have been destroyed by careless builders.

Dietler told the Whittier Daily News reports that the dig site is in the middle of a a multicultural American Indian village known as Sabangna, “where many Gabrielenos and members of other tribes lived,” Dietler said. Many of the artifacts found were either made by or belonged to American Indians.

Artifacts found at the site have included shell beads used for trade and exchange, arrowheads, traditional pottery, and European-style bricks and tiles built by American Indians.

“Chances are almost anything we find is going to have some connection to Native Americans,” Dietler told the News.

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