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Jawbone from prehistoric times found in Iowa River

KCCI Des Moines 9/23/2022
jawbone from prehistoric times found in iowa river © Provided by KCCI Des Moines jawbone from prehistoric times found in iowa river

A jawbone that was found in the Iowa River last month has been identified as a Native American relic from the prehistoric ages.

Conservation staff found the jawbone while doing a survey in August. The discovery launched a Marshall County Sheriff's Office investigation.

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The jawbone was intact, but the condition was deteriorated, indicating the jawbone was several thousand years old.

The Office of the State Archaeologist determined the bone belonged to a prehistoric Native American of middle to older age. More research will be done to determine what tribe had a camp on the north side of the river.

According to the Marshall County sheriff, the bone was in "remarkable" condition given its time period. There was no indication of trauma on the mandible.

After it was found, a more extensive search uncovered three more bones nearby. The state medical examiner's office determined they did not belong to a human.

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