These were two canoeists out for a walk during last northern summer in Minnesota. On that ride, they found something sinister. It was an 8,000-year-old skull in the river. It will be returned to the Native American authorities.
The river in which the find was made is drought-stricken. The exact location is about 180 miles west of Minneapolis. One of the canoeists is Renville County Police Chief Scott Hable.
They thought it might be related to some missing persons or murder case. They turned the skull over to the FBI, where they used carbon dating to determine its age. What did they find? It was the skull of a young man who lived between 5,500 and 6,000 B.C., Hable said.
“We were very surprised at how old it was,” Hable told the station Minnesota Public Radio A depression in the skull was “possibly an indication of the cause of death.”
The discovery was published, but received criticism. Native North Americans said that publishing photos of ancestral remains was offensive to their culture. Now, the remains will be turned over to tribal community officials Upper Sioux.
The discovery of an 8,000-year-old skull in the river caught the attention of anthropologist Kathleen Blue. She is a professor at Minnesota State University. She said the same day that the skull is definitely from an ancestor of one of the tribes still living in the area. This is how she reported it The New York Times.
Details of its probable diet were given. Plants, deer, fish, turtles and freshwater mussels were in it. In addition, it followed mammals and bison on their migrations.
“There probably weren’t many people walking around Minnesota 8,000 years ago. As I said, the glaciers retreated a few thousand years before that. We don’t know much about that period,” Blue concluded.