HARRIS COUNTY, Texas—Archeologists in Houston were clamoring over a prehistoric discovery Thursday along the Grand Parkway in west Harris County.
“It’s a very rare and intriguing discovery,” said Doctor Dirk Van Tuerenhout, the Curator of Anthropology at Houston’s Museum of Natural History.
He was reacting to the human remains unearthed in May by a TxDOT contractor working on a road-expansion project. The bones, which were believed to be at least 3,000 years old, were found buried beneath sediment near a small lake.
“It’s not just a mere 3,000-year-old skeleton,” said Van Tuerenhout. “This is part of the history and story of the area in which we live.”
The story could have gone unnoticed, were it not for the watchful eye of the road workers.
“There is a process,” said Karen Orthon, a TxDOT spokesperson. “They actually remove layers of the dirt, and that’s how they come across the bones.”
Scientists have strong theories about who the bones belonged to.
“We’re talking about people who would live in very small groups, who would move around a lot,” said Van Tuerenhout.
For the time being, road crews have had to move around the sensitive site, while TxDOT awaits a ruling from a judge weighing the state agency’s request to remove the bones to a safe location. Anthropologists were salivating at the chance to conduct further study.
“It’s part of our human history,” said Van Tuerenhout. “We better get it right. We need to do this.”