Human skull uncovered in Springville park

Posted at 5:54 PM, May 24, 2013
and last updated 2013-05-25 00:39:35-04

SPRINGVILLE, Utah – Construction crews working on a parking lot in Springville dug up a mystery on Monday when they found ancient human remains.

The bones were uncovered behind a soccer field near 950 West and 900 North.

According to police, two workers had dug just a few feet into the ground when they made the discovery. Sgt. David Foster said the employees did not notify authorities until Thursday, at which point police cordoned off the property.

"We found part of a skull and some other additional bones," said Foster.

Detectives sent photos of the findings to the State Crime Lab and an anthropologist was sent to recover them. At this point, they are believed to be Native American remains.

"Where they were buried, how deep, the position that the bones are placed, like the skeleton is placed and everything, all tells a story of who this person was. Especially if they're ancient, then we try to determine cultural, tribal affiliations, if they were native," said Geoffrey Fattah, spokesman, Utah Department of Heritage and Arts.

Fattah said the discovery is not unusual for the state's Department of Antiquities, but each finding can tell an important part of Utah history that might not otherwise be known.

"Humans have been in this area for thousands of years," said Fattah. "And so when you have people that die and are buried, then you will find them."

If the bones are determined to be Native American remains, they will be turned over to the Native American Remains Committee, which will then try to find the person's tribal ancestry.