Mississippi State receives grant to assess and render native remains of prehistoric mound near campus – Magnolia State Live
A new grant from the National Park Service will help Mississippi State University assess human remains found in a late prehistoric Native American mound of historic significance near campus and return them to their deceased.
The $ 90,000 grant is part of a larger $ 1.9 million in federal funds dispersed by the National Park Service through 11 grants across the United States supporting the transportation and return of cultural objects.
Since 1990, federal law has required institutions like museums and schools that receive federal funding to return human remains, grave goods, and other sacred objects to their Native American, Alaskan, and Hawaiian descendants.
Located in the Black Prairie region of northeast Oktibbeha County, Lyon’s Bluff is a large complex of Native American mounds and villages a few miles from Mississippi State University.
Throughout the process, the university team will consult with all Native American nations that have cultural and historical ties to the Mississippi, said Shawn Lambert, senior researcher and assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology and Middle Eastern Cultures at the MSU.
Lambert said the process will strengthen tribal collaboration and develop a better understanding of Mississippi’s cultural heritage.
“Most importantly, this project showcases the value of respecting and implementing tribal cultural protocols in archaeological practice,” he said.
Anna Osterholtz, professor of anthropology and cultures of the Middle East, said students will be able to see the process unfold from start to finish and “experience the benefits of ethical cooperation.”