With the plans to replace Ylig Bridge, Federal Highway Administration and the Department of Parks and Recreation, State Historic Preservation Officer and Guam Department of Public Works, Transportation Division developed an Agreement to mitigate the adverse effects of the project.
The first archaeological excavations for the new bridge found limited historical Latte Period deposits containing pottery, shell and bone food remains, and shell and stone tools. However, during the monitoring stage exciting new discoveries were made. Soon it was evident that the continued construction work would expose part of the ancient Chamorro village which was perched upon the banks of the Ylig River. During archaeological monitoring multiple Latte Period pebble pavings were found approximately one meter below the surface. These pebble pavings are believed to be the remnants of ancient Chamorro houses constructed during the Latte Period. The pebble paved floors are relatively delicate features being only a few pebbles thick, consisting of rounded coral and pumice pebbles packed in the sand. Archaeological excavations reveal that in general the houses were kept very clean with little to no artifacts atop the pebbled floors. At least one house contains a hearth or fire pit near its center, while post molds documenting the locations of posts that were situated to support the roof have been identified as associated with several of the floors. Some of these floors appear to be contemporaneous and we should have a fairly conclusive date on structures once the charcoal from the hearth has been dated and other analyses have been completed. We believe that these houses were constructed on the ground between the Latte houses, similar to the ones you see in the early Spanish drawings of villages.
Half of these floors were outside of the right-of-way for the construction project, and thanks to the cooperation of the adjacent land owner, Beyond Tumon Development Associates, we were able to completely expose the features. Now that the dry season is here, the archaeologists can finish conducting the excavations and the project. Several burials were found in the course of the work being conducted, which may be associated with these structures, as it was a common practice to bury one’s loved ones next to or under the house. Once the project is completed, all burials will be re-interred in a monument, which may be covered in the pebble paving placing these individuals back under their houses. We again would like to thank, Federal Highway Administration, Guam Public Works Transportation Division, Guam Department of Parks and Recreation, Guam Historic Resources Division and Beyond Tumon Development Associates for working together to document, present and preserve this history and site for the people of Guam.

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