Tribal leaders react to artifacts and remains found in Florence - WJBF-TV ABC 6 Augusta-Aiken

Tribal leaders react to artifacts and remains found in Florence county

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FLORENCE COUNTY, S.C.----As archaeologists continue to investigate the site in Florence County where fragments of human bones and several Native American artifacts were discovered, local tribal leaders can't wait to unearth more clues from the past.

"It does help show the history of the native people in the state of South Carolina, we've always been here and we always will be," said Chief Clyde "Thinking Bird" Strickland.  "It's great, it helps connect the areas to the areas that have been left in the shade."

According to archaeologists working at the site, this is one of the first of its kind in Florence County, but for Chief Strickland, it comes as no surprise.

"It's going to happen on and off as construction and development continues to happen," he said.

And while they're excited to learn more about their history, they still have some concerns about going forward with the investigation.  They're worried about the safety of the site as well as maintaining the preservation of the artifacts.  Archaeologists on site say looters have been known to come to sites like this in the past.

"We hope that nothing like this takes place, we don't want anyone going out to any sites, it should be treated no differently than a graveyard, it's totally disrespectful," said Strickland.

But Chief Strickland said the tribe will continue to work with other area tribes like the Lumbee and Pee Dee Indian Nation, to maintain the integrity of the artifacts.

"We're just trying to make things work together, make the right decision, and hope everyone keeps in mind originally what this is all about, which is the native people and our history in this area," he said."

Local law enforcement has been notified of the site and will be maintaining a close eye on it over the next 6-8 weeks as archaeologists continue to work.

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