On September 25, 2019, workers on the 405 Freeway discovered what seemed to be a Native American burial ground on the road. At the time of the discovery, the construction workers there had been busy excavating the area as part of an ongoing project, the I-405 Improvement Project. As the workers were digging and trying to unearth whatever they could find, they discovered what appeared to be human remains. As they continued to investigate, their terrifying prediction was confirmed. The construction workers had indeed discovered what they thought could have been the remains of humans, with bones and all. The people at the horrific scene quickly contacted the Orange County coroner’s office, and soon the group had arrived at the scene, and an investigation began.
The coroner’s office eventually confirmed that the bones and remains that the workers had dug up, did in fact belong to a human, specifically, a Native American. According to Eric Carpenter of the OCTA, agency officials are not allowed by` law to give out a location or even a description of a grave or another sort of sacred place. The authorities and other officials are wondering what to do with the human remains, because according to the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act, “Federal law has provided for the repatriation and disposition of certain Native American human remains, funerary objects, sacred objects, and objects of cultural patrimony.” They also state that any human remains, “must at all times be treated with dignity and respect.” Eric Carpenter has also stated that, “OCTA and its partners recognize the cultural sensitivity of the issue and will work with all parties involved to ensure appropriate and respectful procedures are followed.”
While not much has come out about this incident, we do know that accidents like these have occurred prior to this one. At a Huntington Beach construction site in 2007, 164 human remains were found at the site. The remnants were confirmed to be of Native American ancestry, with fragments and shards that could be as much as 8,500 years old were found. In an article by Fox News, reporters documented that in a project going on currently, “archaeologists discovered an ‘unprecedented’ 7,000-year-old Native American burial site beneath the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Florida.” As stated before, not much information has been released to the public about this incident. However, hopefully the authorities have resolved the issue, and gave the remains the proper care and respect that it deserves.