Corsicana Daily Sun, Corsicana, Texas

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June 13, 2013

More human bones found at lake

Corsicana — Another discovery of old human remains unearthed near Richland Chambers Lake in Navarro County took place Monday.

A preliminary analysis of a partial jaw bone unearthed by Navarro County Sheriff’s detectives indicates it could be that of a Native American.

Sheriff Elmer Tanner said the discovery was made Monday by a resident at the lake at the end of SECR 0165, near Francisco Bay on the lake’s north side.

Tanner said he contacted the Texas Rangers and launched an investigation into the find, enlisting the help of an anthropologist in an attempt to determine the origin of the bones found.

“We do believe that these are going to be the skeletal remains of someone of Indian descent, and possibly this is an incident of an old Indian burial ground or camp site that has been unearthed,” he said.

Tanner said the Tarrant County Regional Water District was notified of the find.

He said numerous partial bones were discovered in their initial search of the site.

“The most identifiable find was a portion of a jaw bone,” Tanner said. He said they don’t know exactly how long the bones may have been there, but classified them as “old.”

Tanner said the Tarrant County Regional Water District will proceed with the investigation of the site, as it did in the recent discovery of bones from a former slave cemetery discovered at the lake in 2009.

In that find, the remains of 25 individuals — four adults and 21 children — were unearthed in the Montgomery Hill area of Navarro County after lake levels fell during drought conditions in 2009. Those remains were ultimately recovered by a team of archeologists and relocated to a special section in Corsicana’s Woodland Cemetery with an historical marker denoting the find.

Chad Lorance, a spokesman with Tarrant County Regional Water District, said they have begun reaching out to state and local officials in light of the recent find.

“We’ve been in contact with the State Historic Preservation Office and the sheriff’s office, and at this point we are in the process of gathering information to discuss what our next steps will be,” Lorance said Wednesday.

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Bob Belcher may be reached by email at bbelcher@corsicanadailysun.com. Want to “soundoff” on this story? Email: soundoff@corsicanadailysun.com

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