This NBC news article occurs in Salt Lake City, where 14-year-old Ali Erturk was digging a trout pond in his backyard when he stumbled across what looked to him to be an animal bone. However, when he looked at it closer, it was a human skull. The valley he lives in is said to have been populated by Native Americans for up to 10,000 years in the past. A forensic anthropologist will look at the remains and try to determine the sex and the cultural origin of the human. The remains will then go to the tribe that claims them, where they will perform internment rites.
There have been several other cases of ancient Native American burials found in the area. Typically, the state of Utah receives about six cases of ancient remains each year, so this does not come as a surprise to anyone. Even Erturk wasn’t particularly shocked, and was quoted saying, “I really do think there’s other bones nearby, and I don’t think that it’s that unlikely or that lucky that I stumbled across this.” I think it’s very cool that these remains were found in his backyard. I can’t imagine coming across anything like this at the age of 14.