Workers exploring the site of an intended quarry in rural Indiana stumbled upon a mummified body that experts say could be anywhere from 500 to 2,000 years old, the Times of Northwest Indiana reports.
"They could distinguish a head and a torso," says a local sheriff. "It could be a Native American burial ground." Because the remains appear to pre-date 1940, the coroner's office and law enforcement won't be involved in any criminal investigation; as the Times puts it, if a crime did occur, it's likely "hundreds of years too late to do anything about it." The state's archaeology department is taking the lead.
This after archaeologists actually made the find: The newspaper explains that in order to get the necessary permits to excavate, archaeologists first need to scour the intended area for artifacts.
Those employed at the site discovered the remains on Friday, prompting law enforcement and the coroner's office to be called in. Development of the Singleton Quarry has been halted for now.
"There are many laws around Indian sites," conservation officer Terri Millefoglie tells the Chicago Tribune. "If it is determined this is any type of sacred ground, there are many avenues they will need to follow—many, many steps after today." The site, about an hour south of Chicago, is set to serve as a place for mining a concrete aggregate used in road construction and as a quarry that pumps as many as 72 million gallons of water into the Singleton Ditch daily.
Nearby residents and farmers have long opposed the project. (Check out what's happening to the world's oldest mummies.)
This article originally appeared on Newser: Mummified Remains Found in IndianaMore From Newser
- Escaped Prisoner David Sweat Shot Twice
- Michael Moore: I Have Gift for Confederate Flag Taker
- Black Churches Are Going Up in Flames