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Opinion: Indecent and cavalier treatment of remains

"Since last fall, archeologists employed by Playa Vista, the huge luxury housing development near Marina del Rey, have excavated more than 300 skeletons of Gabrielino-Tongva Indians, the indigenous people of Los Angeles, from the southwest corner of the Ballona Wetlands. Burial artifacts, mostly beads and other jewelry, were found with the bones. In addition, remnants of a village � tools, arrowheads and eating utensils � have been unearthed.

The site is among the largest known Tongva cemeteries, and it's a breathtaking discovery, a window to the origins of our city. But Playa Vista developers want the skeletons removed because they are in the path of a proposed drainage corridor for thousands of planned homes and condominiums. According to the plan, the bones would be reburied elsewhere on the property, a center on Native American culture built to guide tourists, and the artifacts sent to UCLA.

For a metropolis that touts its multicultural and diversity credentials, this approach to the culture of the area's first inhabitants is cavalier and indecent. There is a better way."

Get the Story:
J. William Gibson And Chester King: Skeletons in Playa Vista's Closet (The Los Angeles Times 6/20)

Related Stories:
Opinion: Eviction of tribal remains is wrong (06/07)
Work at California burial site disturbs some (06/02)
Developer continues to remove tribal remains in Calif. (04/05)
Developer won't halt work at tribal burial site (03/22)