Military urged to proceed with caution regarding Magua remains

Photo shows artifacts removed from historic sites taken by the Office of Senator Therese Terlaje during a May 23,2019 visit to Finegayan / NCTS area.

With the recent discovery of unidentified remains within the Magua site of the ongoing military buildup, Congressman Michael San Nicolas is urging Joint Region Marianas to proceed with caution.

“Until we scientifically confirm the origin of remains found on the Magua site, the military is urged to assume they are in fact Låtte Period finds until ruled otherwise, in order to ensure that they are respected with the utmost consideration,” San Nicolas said in a news release.

According to the congressman, the convergence of unidentified remains with Låtte Period artifacts is too much of a coincidence to take lightly.

“Therefore I firmly urge maximum caution and immediate local consultation in order to make firm and final determinations appropriate for the significance of the sight, to include any necessary project initiations or adjustments relative to the military buildup,” San Nicolas said.

He added: “The goal needs to be maximum respect, and any adjustments necessary to continue the buildup in line with that respect.”

Earlier, Senator Therese Terlaje called for a halt to all clearings near historic sites in response to additional burials found near Magua.

According to Terlaje, she was informed recently that three additional burials were found.

“These multiple discoveries of burials follow the past refusal by U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) to preserve Magua in place, and DoD’s deliberate removal of Latte Period latte, lusong, earth ovens, tools, pottery, and other artifacts from the area,” the senator said.

Prior to being cleared, Magua was listed as a site eligible for the National Register of Historic Places. Magua is also located near a freshwater source, inland from the cliffs above the ancient village of Haputo.