The Guam State Historic Preservation Office is seeking to amend its agreement with the military after hundreds of acres of historic sites were cleared during the ongoing Marine Corps buildup construction.
The historic sites contained many human remains and artifacts such as earth ovens and “lusongs” — some of which were removed during the construction of the live-fire training range at Ritidian and the base in Finegayan.
The office plans to revise the 2011 Programmatic Agreement, which outlines the military’s guidelines to mitigate negative effects on historic sites, by invoking Stipulation 14. By doing this, they hope to add more stringent monitoring requirements for military projects as well as enforce that historic sites be preserved in place.
During an informational hearing yesterday, Guam State Historic Preservation Officer Patrick Lujan said the office is trying to preserve what appears to be a Latte Period burial site that was discovered at the Dededo base.
“This one burial…I’ve made it a point it will not be removed. That it will be preserved in place to respect the individual and leave this individual at its final resting place upon the initial basic reports that we can gather,” Lujan said.
He added: “To my understanding, that area was supposed to be a parking lot for the Marines and I told them to move their parking lot and respect that one burial that we found.”
During the hearing, archaeologist Mike Carson said that both sites are invaluable due to their resources and historical significance and are worth being protected.