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Skull found in Flathead Lake has long history

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FLATHEAD LAKE – An anthropologist has discovered that a skull found in Flathead Lake on June 23 of this year does not belong to a modern human. 

The skull was pulled up from the bottom of the lake by people who were out fishing on a gill netting boat. The skull was found inside a net after it was brought up, at which point the Lake County Sheriff’s Office was called.

Lake County Sheriff Don Bell sent the skull to the Montana Forensic Science Lab to be examined. “The lab enlisted the assistance of an anthropological expert to determine the skull is that of a Native American male over the age of 18 years, but most likely between 30-60 years of age,” Bell said.

The teeth helped scientists determine that the skull is “archeological or historical in nature, and thus, not belonging to a modern human,” Bell said.

Based on findings, Bell reported that a crime was not suspected in the case. 

The Lake County Sheriff’s Office is continuing to work with the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribal Preservation Department on the repatriation of the remains and to determine if genetic testing is desired by the CSKT Culture Committee. 


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