Scientists say skull found near Akhiok is ancient

Posted: Friday, April 27, 2001

KODIAK (AP) -- A human skull and femur found near Akhiok last month are several hundred years old, according to Sven Haakanson Jr. and Libby Eufemio of the Alutiiq Museum.

The remains, those of a young child, were found near Sukhoi Lagoon March 20 by an Akhiok man and turned over to the Alaska State Troopers.

Haakanson and Eufemio, both anthropologists, have determined the remains are ''most likely prehistoric'' due to the light brown color of the bones, the lack of oils exuding from them, and the flatness of the back of the skull ''indicative of the prehistoric Alutiiq practice of cradle-board use.'' Cradle-boards were used like a modern back pack by mothers to carry their children while they worked.

According to Haakanson, the remains are that of an adolescent child, between the ages of 9 and 12 years old. The determination came from the length of the femur, size of the skull and its sutures not being completely fused.

Because it was found near a lagoon, it is not possible for the bones to have washed up from an unknown area, according to Haakanson.

''The remains had been buried and eroded out of the bank,'' he said.

Haakanson will return the remains for reburial in Akhiok next month, with the permission of the Akhiok Tribal Council.

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