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May 28, 2024 Clouds | 81°F
The 193rd General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Section 6: Unmarked human remains; notice to office of chief medical examiner; reasonable attempt to identify; notification of commission on Indian affairs when remains suspected to be 100 years old or more

Section 6. (a) It shall be the duty of a person who discovers unmarked human remains, or who knowingly causes human remains to be disturbed through construction or agricultural activity, to immediately notify the office of the chief medical examiner.

(b) The medical examiner shall make reasonable attempts to promptly identify unmarked human remains including, but not limited to, obtaining: (i) photographs of the human remains prior to an autopsy; (ii) dental or skeletal X-rays; (iii) photographs of items found with the human remains; (iv) fingerprints from the remains, if possible; and (v) a sample of bone, hair or tissue for DNA testing.

(c) The office shall conduct an inquiry to determine whether the remains are suspected of being 100 years old or more and, if so determined, shall immediately notify the state archaeologist. The state archaeologist shall determine if the skeletal remains are Native American. If the remains are deemed likely to be Native American, the state archaeologist shall immediately notify the commission on Indian affairs which shall cause a site evaluation to be made to determine if the place where the remains were found is a Native American burial site.