On Saturday a KB Home Development construction crew set to build nine new homes on Market Street uncovered the remains of a Native American child on an ancient Ohlone village and burial site.
The remains of an adult were also uncovered on Friday, according to Ed Silveira, of the Villa Branciforte Preservation Society, who said this is the most historically significant event that's happened in Santa Cruz.
Silveira said KB Home knew they were building on a 6,000-year-old site, but that they went ahead with the construction nonetheless.
“We knew it was a 6,000-year-old site, so it was a no-brainer that there were remains there, but they chose to go ahead and do it anyway with the encouragement of the city,” Silveira said.
Silveira said there's also an area of the rare Spine Flower plant growing on the site, with only three of these plant species known to exist in California.
These historical findings were uncovered at an area known as the Knoll located in the Villa Branciforte side of Santa Cruz, which is one of the first three settlements in California. Numerous artifacts uncovered between the late 1700s to the 1830s have been found in the area.
As of now, Silveira and others are hoping to reach a mutual agreement with KB Home Development so they can can conserve the historical site before they start its construction tomorrow.
“There has to be a process that has to be done, so our goal is to see if there can be some kind of agreement so they don't build the nine homes on the burial site,” Silveira said.
There will be a gathering to stop construction at the Branciforte Creek site in downtown Santa Cruz on Pacific and Laurel at 12:30 p.m. Sunday, and from there attendees will walk to Grant Street Park at 2 p.m., with a last walk ending at the ancient burial site.