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Southampton Town to preserve site where Indian burial sites were discovered

The building site on Hawthorne Road in Southampton

The building site on Hawthorne Road in Southampton -- seen on Aug. 14, 2018 -- where human remains were discovered the previous day.  Credit: Gordon M. Grant

Southampton Town on Tuesday agreed to purchase and preserve nearly five acres of land in Shinnecock Hills where Indian burial sites have been discovered.

The seller of the Chivas Court property is Riad M. Shahin and Nabila K. Shahin and the price is $1.8 million, according to a town board resolution.

Southampton Town Supervisor Jay Schneiderman said the property is worthy of preservation not only for its environmental importance, but also because ancestors of the Shinnecock Indian Nation have been known to bury their dead in the area.

Remains suspected to be those of a Shinnecock ancestor were discovered during construction on a Hawthorne Road property last August. The town later bought the land for $450,000 to preserve it.

“These are likely candidates for burial sites,” said Schneiderman shortly before the town board voted unanimously at its Tuesday meeting to purchase the Chivas Court property. “I would hate to see it get developed and then find out that they were.”

The town board on Tuesday also approved the purchase of a half-acre North Sea property on Big Fresh Pond. The seller is the Estate of Eila E. Jonas and the price is $650,000.

The town’s Community Preservation Fund, which is funded through a 2 percent real estate transfer, covered the purchases.

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