Southampton to Hold Public Hearing on CPF Purchase of Shinnecock Burial Ground Land
The Town of Southampton has agreed to purchase the property on Hawthorne Road where remains were found on what is believed to be an ancient burial ground for the Shinnecock Nation.
The Town Board will hold a public hearing on Oct. 9 at 1 p.m. to decide whether Community Preservation Funds should be used for the purchase.
The owner of the property, KB Southampton LLC, has agreed to sell the land to the town for $450,000.
“I want to thank the owners of the property and the contractor for doing the right thing and stopping work upon discovery,” said Supervisor Jay Schneiderman at the Sept. 11 town board meeting.
The remains were found during excavation of the construction site on Aug. 13, after which they were taken by police to the Suffolk County Medical Examiner’s office, which is determining whether they are from the Shinnecock Nation.
Members of the Shinnecock Nation, however, have pointed out that the remains were buried with an 18th Century bottle just a five minute drive from the Shinnecock Reservation, in an area the Nation has long held to be a sacred burial ground.
The Shinnecock Nation is working to raise $50,000 for reburial of the remains and restoration of the site. More details on their work are online here.
The town says the findings may prompt formal town procedures for when ancient remains are found at construction sites in the future.