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Bluff School Construction May Interfere with Ancient Burials

Austin Cope

Construction is about to begin on a new, $6.5 million elementary school in Bluff, Utah, but questions linger about its proximity to an ancient burial site.

The San Juan Record reports that the 12-acre tract just west of town sits next to a burial ground where 18 sets of Ancestral Puebloan remains were excavated in 1980 when a state highway was expanded. Now, an archaeological consultant says there is “a high probability” numerous burials dating from archaic to historic times will be unearthed at the new school site. Citizens reportedly have questioned why the new school could not be built on the current school grounds, but school officials say the current site has numerous problems, including septic issues and a smaller size. The Record reports that archaeologists will be on hand to monitor as ground work begins.

Gail Binkly is a career journalist who has worked for the Colorado Springs Gazette and Cortez Journal, and was the editor of the Four Corners Free Press, based in Cortez.
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