Native Village of Akhiok, Alaska

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A human skull and femur found near Akhiok in March are several hundred years old, say anthropologists Sven Haakanson Jr. and Libby Eufemio of the Alutiiq Museum. The remains of a young child were found near Sukhoi Lagoon March 20 by an Akhiok man and turned over to State Troopers. The scientists determined the remains are "most likely prehistoric" because of the light brown color of the bones, lack of oils exuding from them and flatness of the back of the skull, "indicative of the prehistoric Alutiiq practice of cradleboard use." Haakanson said the remains are those of an adolescent between 9 and 12 based on length of the femur, size of the skull and the fact its sutures were not completely fused. "The remains had been buried and eroded out of the bank," he said. He will return the remains for reburial in Akhiok this month, with permission of the Akhiok Tribal Council.