Leaked memo: No remains, artifacts found at Dakota Access Pipeline site

Protesters look over a fence at the construction.
File photo of protesters of the Dakota Access Pipeline looking over a fence on top of a hill on the west side of the Missouri River at pipeline construction crews as they work on the other side of the river on Aug. 16, 2016.
Christopher Juhn for MPR News File

North Dakota's chief archaeologist says in a memo leaked to a conservative blogger that an inspection found no American Indian artifacts or human remains at a Dakota Access pipeline construction site.

Paul Picha says in the memo published Monday by Say Anything blogger Rob Port that seven state archaeologists inspected the 1.3-mile section along the route of the $3.8 billion pipeline in southern North Dakota. The memo says only some animal teeth and bone fragments were found.

Officials say the memo is only a draft and is part of an on-going investigation.

Standing Rock Sioux officials said crews earlier this month bulldozed the site, which they say has "significant cultural and historic value." It led to a clash between protesters and security guards hired by pipeline company Energy Transfer Partners.

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