FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. – Human remains found last year near Colorado City could be those of an American Indian man from at least 1,800 years ago, representing an uncommon find, authorities said.
Children hiking with their mother in the hills outside Colorado City near the Arizona-Utah border discovered the remains last November. Deputies from the Mohave County sheriff’s office responded and sent the remains to a medical examiner. From there, they went to Amy Kelly-McLaughlin, a Flagstaff anthropologist who told authorities that the remains appear to be those of a prehistoric man.
She knew immediately that the remains were prehistoric, based on the uniform staining of the bones from soil and heavy dental wear that suggested the man ate food with a lot of grit in it, Kelly-McLaughlin said. The remains are considered prehistoric because they come from a time in the region that has no written record, she said.
“In my experience, it’s not wildly uncommon. But it doesn’t happen every day,” she said Tuesday.
Kelly-McLaughlin said she will begin calling tribes that have links to the area to see if any of them have a legal interest in the remains and would like them repatriated.