Human Remains Found at One Ali`i

Bones reinterred in ground on advice of archeologists.

Human and cat bones were found by a construction crew working on installing a septic tank system at One Ali`i Park.

By Zalina Alvi

Humans remains discovered by construction workers at One Ali`i Park have been returned to where they were found following intervention by the State Historic Preservation Division (SHPD).

Several fragments of human bone fell out of the side wall of a trench while a septic tank system was being installed by county workers at the end of July.

Consulting archeologists with the Honolulu-based Scientific Consultant Services notified the SHPD of the situation at the beginning of August, and were advised to elevate the remains to an area in the wall as close as possible to where the remains were found and out of any harmful area before covering up.

A Hawaiian cultural monitor was present during all ground-disturbing activity.

One week later, eight other small bones were found and determined to be animal bones, most likely from a cat. That day both the on-site archaeologist and cultural monitor spent the morning sifting through the 'fill dirt' to ensure no other bones were present.

In accordance with SHPD policy, Malia Akutagawa, and Mikiala Pescaia of the Molokai burial council were consulted during the process.

A protest was held at One Ali`i Park on Aug. 13 by Molokai residents who demanded the proper treatment of the remains.

Since then, both the human and cat remains have been “safely reinterred within the project area,” according to Department of Land and Natural Resources information specialist Deborah Ward.

The Burial Sites Program of the SHPD deals with the management of burial sites over 50 years old, and about 98 percent of those are related to Hawaiian skeletal remains, according to the program’s website.

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