THAYER -- What was first thought to be skeletal remains from the Civil War era, found along the banks of the Warm Fork River on Thayer city property, have now been identified as remains of a Native American Indian possibly dating back 1,000 to 1,500 years.
Judith Deels, an archaeologist from the Missouri Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Preservation Office in Jefferson City was in Thayer Aug. 4 to examine the site where parts of at least one body was unearthed. She brought two people with her from the National Research Service Center.
"We did what we call a preliminary analysis and are pretty sure the remains found were that of a Native American Indian," Deels said.
She said she had been in touch with many Indian tribes across the country through the Federal Indian Registry and some have expressed interest in the remains.
"We know it was an Indian because of the skull and the teeth. We also examined the layers of the soil," she said.
She said some law enforcement officers thought there might be remains of a younger individual at the same sight but she said she could not confirm that.
Deels said she hopes to have a decision in the next couple of weeks about what to do at the site where the remains were found. She said she was concerned about erosion at the site.
"We were very appreciative of the cooperation and respect shown by Thayer Police Chief David Bailey and officers with his department," she said.