A partial skull nearly 8,000 years ago that two kayakers found in a river last summer will be returned to Native American officials in Minnesota
REDWOOD FALLS, Minn – A partial skull found last summer by two kayakers in Minnesota will be returned to Native American officials after investigations determined it was about 8,000 years old.
Cadets found the skull in the Minnesota River that was depleted by drought about 110 miles (180 kilometers) west of Minneapolis, Renville County Sheriff Scott Hable said.
Thinking it might be related to the case of a missing person or murder, Hable turned the skull to a medical examiner and eventually to the FBI, where a forensic anthropologist used carbon dating to determine whether men were more likely to be skulls. young who lived between 5500. and 6000 BC, Hable said.
“We were shocked that the bone was so old,” Hable told Minnesota Public Radio.
The anthropologist found that the man had a depression in his head which “may have known the cause of death”.
After the sheriff posted the discovery Wednesday, several Native Americans criticized his office, saying the publication of photos of ancestral remains was insulting to their culture.
Hable said his office won the job.
“We didn’t intend it to be anything offensive,” Hable said.
Hable said the remains will be handed over to tribal officials of the Upper Sioux Community.
Minnesota Indian Affairs Council Cultural Resource Specialist Dylan Goetsch said in a statement that neither the council nor the state archaeologist was informed of the discovery, which requires state laws governing the care and repatriation of Native American remains.
Goetsch said the Facebook post showed a “complete lack of cultural sensitivity” by failing to call the Native American individual and referring to the remains as “a small piece of history”.
Kathleen Blue, a professor of anthropology at Minnesota State University, said Wednesday that the definite skull from an ancestor was one of the tribes still living in the area, the New York Times reported.
She said the young man probably ate a diet of plants, deer, fish, turtles and freshwater mussels in a small region, rather than mammals and bison following their migration.
“Probably not many people at that time were roaming around Minnesota 8,000 years ago, because, as I said, the glaciers only retreated a few thousand years earlier,” Blue said. “At that time, we don’t know much about it.”