Skip to comments.Ancient burial ground discovered during duck hunt[Oklahoma]
Posted on 01/10/2007 11:02:36 PM PST by FLOutdoorsman
SILOAM SPRINGS Bryan Austin of Siloam Springs thought hed found a crime scene when he spotted a human skull under a pile of rocks while he was duck hunting in northeast Oklahoma.
Looking for a good place to set up a camouflage hunting screen Nov. 19 on a mud flat in the Spavinaw Creek drainage area, Austin found what turned out to be an ancient skull.
He later learned that the site is an ancient Indian burial ground.
Its absolutely amazing, Austin said. Im incredibly interested in this kind of stuff. Its in my line of work.
Austin, a sergeant with the Siloam Springs Police Department, has spent a lot of time investigating crime scenes.
Austin was unsure what he had stumbled onto when he first picked up a stone with four small depressions in it.
He later learned that it was used more than 1, 000 years ago by Caddo and Wichita Indians as a nut-cracking tool.
After seeing the tool, he continued his duck hunt but couldnt stop thinking about what he had found.
He came back to the site and spotted a stone scraping tool in the mud.
Nearby, he noticed some bones.
He dismissed the bones as animal bones.
Then he spotted a leg bone that he knew from his training was human.
I didnt know if I had a crime scene here, he said. After he examined a skull under a pile of rocks, he knew it wasnt from someone who died recently.
Holy crap, this is a burial ground, Austin said to himself.
The next day, he called a medical examiner who works northeast Oklahoma.
Kevin Rowland, chief investigator of the Oklahoma Medical Examiners Office in Oklahoma City, said an investigator from Claremore, Okla., went to the site.
Rowland said the remains were turned over to the state archeologist.
Hundreds of bones and artifacts were found at the site, including pottery, stone tools, arrowheads and knife parts.
Both Rowland and Robert Brooks, state archeologist for the Oklahoma Archeological Survey, said they could not release photos of the remains found at the site.
Brooks said Oklahoma has 500 to 1, 000 sites similar to this one.
Its important, Brooks said about this site, because it is prehistoric. It makes it have a certain kind of significance.
He said 50 to 75 American Indians could have been living at the site.
Brooks said he determined the age of the site to be 1, 000 years old by comparing it to the remains of similar sites that have been carbon dated.
The Caddo and Wichita tribes have been contacted, Brooks said.
The remains of possibly four individuals were found at the site, Brooks said.
Animal bones were also discovered.
Brooks said the people were buried intentionally. Erosion exposed their remains.
More bodies might be buried at the site, he said.
One of the skulls was from a child.
Austin said he found a sandstone grinding basin nearly 2 feet in diameter that looked like a piece of granite.
Ive never seen a grinding basin like that, Austin said.
Austin said he had been duck hunting in the area since September.
He had probably walked over the burial ground six or seven times before he noticed the nut-cracking tool.
He said he has searched some places for old things in the past.
He found an 1853 half dime in Benton County and old Indian tools in caves in Madison County, he said, but nothing like what he found while duck hunting.
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I had just click "post" on this one, when I found your request. :')
Big deal. My boss has one of these.
Thank you. :O)
My first impression for this name is that he had a parent who was an Aggie and one who was a T-sip. LOL! ...and to be from Oklahoma to boot. Okay, back to the regularly scheduled programming...
whoops, I should have typed "clicked" rather than "click". ;')
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