NBC Bay Area
A screenshot from the NBC Bay Area footage of the excavation of the area where Native remains were found in San Jose.

Native Remains Unearthed in Silicon Valley... Two Years Ago!


You read that right. Native American remains and artifacts were unearthed two years ago during construction of the BART, or Bay Area Rapid Transit, in San Jose, California, and it is just now coming to light, reports NBC Bay Area.

The Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority announced May 30 that archaeologists discovered the remains of 17 Native Americans, most likely members of the Ohlone Nation, during a 2012 excavation.

Keeping the find quiet can be considered a good thing. It’s the protocol whenever Native remains are found—it’s done out of respect for the tribe. The remains were discovered in 2012, the local Ohlone Nation was notified and the remains were “respectfully removed,” according to NBC Bay Area

VTA Board Chairman Ash Kalra told NBC the Silicon Valley is home to many sacred burial grounds, primarily those of the Ohlone Nation.

“Part of that protocol is, once the remains are identified, particularly if they’re Native American remains ... that they don’t publicly announce it,” Kalra told NBC. “They first inform the tribe.”

The Valley Transportation Authority worked with the Native Heritage Commission in Sacramento to remove the remains, and today the construction continues. Construction is expected to be completed by 2016.

The Ohlone Nation did not return a request for comment in time for publication.

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