Human remains found in river date back to prehistoric person, officials say

Officials in Iowa say a human jawbone found in the Iowa River in August likely belonged to a prehistoric man. (Source: KCRG)
Published: Sep. 22, 2022 at 7:22 PM CDT
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MARSHALL COUNTY, Iowa (KCRG/Gray News) - A human jawbone found in the Iowa River is likely from prehistoric times.

The Marshall County Sheriff’s Office said deputies were initially called on Aug. 10 to a remote area in the Iowa River where a possible human lower jawbone was discovered during a biological and wildlife survey.

Officials said the jawbone was intact but deteriorated, indicating that it was at least several years old. Investigators said they conducted a more thorough search of the area and located three additional potential human bones.

KCRG reports the suspected human remains were sent to the Iowa State Medical Examiner’s Office for further testing. That team determined that the mandible was human and that the remaining bones didn’t appear to be from a human.

The jawbone in question was then taken to the Office of the State Archaeologist and the University of Iowa. Those team members found that the mandible likely belonged to a prehistoric middle to older aged Native American man.

State officials said further research is also expected to be completed on the jawbone.