Marianas Variety

Last updateSat, 19 Aug 2017 12am

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    Saturday, August 19, 2017-3:04:58A.M.

     

     

     

     

     

Remains of WWII US servicemember found in Garapan yet to be identified

THE remains of a WWII American servicemember found in the Garapan project site where Best Sunshine is building its five-star casino-hotel have yet to be identified, according to archaeologist Dr. Mike Dega.

He said when he inquired with the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency last month, he was told that it could take “weeks, months, sometimes years to get the remains identified and get matching DNA from relatives.”

Commissioned by Best Sunshine to conduct archaeological data recovery and burials treatment research on some 4 hectares of land at the Samoan Housing area, Scientific Consultant Services Inc. conducted the largest archaeological dig in Saipan history from April 6 to June 29, 2015.

Dr. Mike Dega led a team of 11 archaeologists and during the excavation, they found 333 burials: 332 suspected to be Pre-Contact Period and one burial identified as a former U.S. serviceman.

The team then reached out to the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency, which asked the team to remove the burial and associated artifacts on June 25, 2015.

An agency representative came to Saipan, collected the boxes on June 30 and brought them to Honolulu, Hawaii for further analysis.

All other collected artifacts and human remains found at the site are currently stored at a facility in Lower Base leased by Best Sunshine pending completion of all DNA and radiocarbon dating tests.

Once all tests are completed, Best Sunshine said they will return the artifacts and remains to the Historic Preservation Office.

Best Sunshine said it will also make sure to consult the public regarding the proper reburial of the remains believed to be of Pre-Contact Period.