An ancient mummy at the heart of a dispute between modern science and the tribe is not affiliated with any contemporary tribe or group, the Bureau of Land Management said. "After more than four years of consultation with the tribe, analyzing the information and reviewing policy, I feel it's time to make this determination," state BLM Director Bob Abbey reported in late summer in a written statement. The partial, mummified remains were found by archaeologists 60 years ago in Spirit Cave, in the Grimes Point area about 13 miles east of Fallon. It has been housed at the Nevada State Museum in Carson City. Anthropologists and scientists say more study of the 10,000-year-old Spirit Cave Man would provide valuable insight into the first inhabitants of North America. The tribe claims the man is an ancestor and wants him returned for burial. The BLM said there is no cultural, biological or physical evidence to show Spirit Cave Man was an ancestor. "There is no geographic evidence indicating how long the Northern Paiute have occupied the Spirit Cave area prior to European contact in the early 1800s and none indicating who, if anyone, lived there at an earlier time."
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