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Ancient remains found in Steuben

Hamilton Lake skull believed prehistoric

A Hamilton Lake resident made an unusual discovery near the shoreline this past Saturday: The remains of a prehistoric Native American.

Now, researchers are working to age the remains and possibly identify what to which tribe the person may have belonged.

Parts of the skeleton were found about 7 p.m. Saturday.

According to the Associated Press, the resident who discovered the remains was getting ready to use a personal watercraft when he stepped on what he believed to be a stone.

The resident tossed the item to the shore, where his wife realized it was a skull.

The discovery prompted scuba divers from the Indiana Department of Natural Resources, the Steuben County Sheriff’s Department and the Steuben County Underwater Rescue Recovery Team to scour the area of the lake for other remains.

While other remains were found, only the skull was determined to be human, according to the Associated Press.

An initial investigation showed the skull could be very old, but archaeologists at the University of Indianapolis determined it to be that of a prehistoric Native American, Steuben County Coroner Bill Harter said.

The remains are now at the Indiana State Museum, where researchers are trying to determine a more precise age, along with a possible gender and tribal origin.

“That’s where we’re at,” said Harter, who had never had a case involving prehistoric remains.

“It’s pretty exciting going down there (to Indianapolis) and talking with the experts in archaeology.”

jeffwiehe@jg.net

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