Uncovered skull stops excavation work

By on Friday, March 26th, 2021 in Columbia Basin News More Top Stories

CHELAN  — Excavation has been halted at The Lookout at Lake Chelan after a worker uncovered a skull. Several other bones and bone fragments were also discovered. The property is a neighborhood of vacation rental homes on the lake.

When the discovery was made, the work stopped and the Chelan County Sheriff’s Office as well as the coroner’s officer were notified. Investigators report they learned through correspondence with a state forensic anthropologist that the remains are those of a Native American individual. Dr. Kathy Taylor, who also works for the King County Medical Examiner’s Office, made that determination.

The Washington State Department of Archaeology and Historic Preservation sent Physical Anthropologist Dr. Guy Tasa to the site earlier this week. He, along with a representative of the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation found more bones. The age of the bones is unclear. The county coroner has said that the bones could be anywhere from a few hundred to a few thousand years old. The coroner’s office said carbon dating might not be done because of the potential damage to the remains.

Permits to investigate the site more completely are in the works. Once the investigation is complete, the remains will be interred at a cemetery that belongs to the Wapato Tribe.

The public is asked to stay away from the area and people are cautioned that any American Indian artifacts that are found should be turned over to local law enforcement, the coroner or a representative from the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation.  The area is being patrolled by the Chelan County Sheriff’s Office.

Image from Chelan County Coroner’s Office