Dam Problems Lead to Discovery of Human Remains

Two sets of human remains have been found in a remote area of Washington and officials say they could be archaeological finds.
By Gillian Mohney

Two sets of human remains have been found in a remote area of Washington and officials say they could be archaeological finds.

The remains were found on the shoreline after water in a reservoir  upstream from the Wanapum Dam in Grant County, Wash., was lowered. In late February, engineers at the dam discovered a two-inch, 65-foot-long crack in the dam and ordered water surrounding the dam to be lowered to ease pressure and allow investigators to fix the problem.

Craig Morrison, the Grant County coroner, said the remains were at least 100 years old and likely much older. Morrison made the determination after examining the teeth and jaw of the remains.

“They look different from our teeth today and have a different wear pattern,” said Morrison.

The remains are being sent to the State Department of Archaeological and Historic Preservation. Morrison speculated the remains were likely of Native American origin and said they could be hundreds to thousands of years old.

Chuck Allen, the public affairs officer for the Grand County Public Utility District, said the initial remains were found by a local resident walking along the shore but the second set of remains was found by Public Utility District officials doing work in the area.
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