Grant to help Mississippi State return human remains to Native American nations


STARKVILLE, Miss. (WJTV) – Mississippi State University (MSU) received a $90,000 grant from the National Park Service (NPS) to assess and return human remains found at the local Lyon’s Bluff historic site, in coordination with the Native American nations of Mississippi.

“Administrators of the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act grant collaborate with several Native American nations who have cultural affiliations in Mississippi,” said Shawn Lambert, principal investigator and an assistant professor in MSU’s Department of Anthropology and Middle Eastern Cultures (AMEC). “The first goal is to reassess NAGPRA-related human remains from the Lyon’s Bluff site, a culturally and historically significant late prehistoric Native American mound center just a few miles from Mississippi State University.”

Lyon’s Bluff is located in the Black Prairie region of northeastern Oktibbeha County. It’s a large Native American mound and village complex.

According to Lambert, he co-principal investigators — AMEC faculty members Anna Osterholtz and Molly Zuckerman — will consult with all Native American nations who have cultural and historical connections to Mississippi to begin the repatriation process and return remains back to their respective descendent communities.

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