The finding last month in Grant County of a gravesite of an early Native American, believed to be that of a male in his early 40s buried 600 years ago, generated a lot of excitement.

Grant County Sheriff Glenn Palmer said investigating the site was was one of the most fascinating things he has ever ever done during his career in law enforcement.

State forensic athropologists, scientists from the John Day Fossil Beds National Park, officials from the State Historic Preservation Office, the Bureau of Indian Affairs and the Commission of Indian Services, as well as representatives of the Paiute, Warms Springs and Umatilla Indian tribes also experienced feelings of awe and respect over the finding.

Unfortunately, other people felt neither of those things. There have been reports of trespassers on the private property where the gravesite was found.

These people could be potential looters looking for something to sell, or they could be people merely curious about what such a find looks like.

In either case, they are on private property without permission, are disrespectful of Indian burial rights and are violating state law against disturbing cultural and other archaeological sites in Oregon.

To help protect the site and the rights of the property owner, the story about the finding that appeared in the Eagle was pulled from the paper's Web site, and followup stories will mention the location of the find only in general terms.

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