Ancient human remains found on Olympic Discovery Trail

PORT ANGELES — State investigators found a third site of possibly ancient human remains Wednesday on an area of the Olympic Discovery Trail east of Port Angeles.

Bones were found Jan. 15, Jan. 18 and Wednesday in the same general area, said Mark Nichols, coroner and Clallam County Prosecuting Attorney.

Kathy Taylor of the King County Medical Examiner’s Office, the state’s only forensic anthropologist, determined from photographs that the initial find were human remains estimated at 500 to 1,000 years old, Nichols said.

Nichols contacted the state Department of Archaeological and Historic Preservation. Representatives of that office, as well of the Jamestown S’Klallam and Lower Elwha tribes, examined the site Wednesday when they located additional remains, Nichols said.

The initial find on Jan. 15 was in an area of a large slide where a skull was found on the surface of the unearthed material, said Brian King, chief criminal deputy with the Clallam County Sheriff’s Office.

Because of heavy snow, the decision was made to carefully collect the remains, Nichols said.

On Jan. 18, a person walking on the beach in the same general vicinity discovered a portion of a hip bone, which has not at this point been determined to be human or ancient, he said.

Nichols said he was told that more bones were found during Wednesday’s site visit.

The remains are being examined by state archaeologists. If they are found to be Native American, they will be repatriated to tribal members.

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