Indian burial site declared off-limits

Monday, November 24, 2003
Human remains have been declared ancient by archeologists from the University of Arkansas, and by local authorities. The remains were found in a small cave by sheriff's deputies when they were investigating another matter. The location of the site will not be revealed.

What may be an ancient Native American burial ground and archeological site has been discovered in Carroll County by investigators of the Sheriff's Office.

The site, containing what appear to be human skeletal remains and other artifacts, has been studied by medical examiners here and archeologists from the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville.

Deputy Jason Hunt said an investigation into another matter led deputies to the area, where the site was contained and secured by investigators pending examination by state and federal investigators.

The location of the site will not be revealed, Hunt said, because it is against federal and state law to touch such a discovery.

Hunt said, "When we observed possible human remains on Oct. 17, we contacted numerous agencies and the state police, and experts at the University of Arkansas."

He said the coroner made sure the bones were not of recent origin, and Dr. Ann Early and Jerry Dillard of the University of Arkansas investigated and made the finding that the site would be given a state designation as an off-limits, archeological site of significance.

Hunt said Wednesday that the site will be posted as off limits, and said the UA archeologists told him it was an "Indian burial site."

The site has been secured until the university has the manpower to look for other artifacts and complete an archeological investigation.

Hunt said the human remains are in possession of the sheriff's department until their investigation is complete. He said investigators believe a complete skeleton and other artifacts such as pottery or other ancient implements could be found.

Hunt said he wanted to remind the public that hunting for and possessing Indian arrow heads is not illegal, but possession of human remains or artifacts such as pottery is a Class C felony, and selling of such remains is a Class D felony.

"I want to make it clear that there is nothing wrong with looking for arrowheads, but if a person comes across human remains or important artifacts, They have to do the right thing and notify the proper authorities.

"They are not going to get into any trouble for finding the things as long as they show some respect and do the right thing."

Hunt said the site is still under investigation and federal agencies could be involved later.

Hunt said under no circumstances will the location of the site be revealed to the public at this time.

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