Prehistoric human remains found along Hwy 99


The Grand Parkway segment between I-10 and Highway 290 has been under construction for nearly a year. Last month, in advance of bulldozers moving in, a state archeologist working on the project found something not unexpected for those who seek out the past -- a handful of bones dating back to prehistory.

"I know it's a rare find, but knowing this area is historically occupied, they knew there was a chance of finding something, which is why they started in this whole area," explained TxDOT spokesperson Karen Ochon.

To protect it, the site is not being identified but it is said to be along Cypress Creek in the path of construction. Water is typically where communities would first form. The find consists of four pieces of bone. It's unknown if they are from one person or several.

It may be the oldest remains discovered in Harris County from 3,000 to 5,000 years old. The Gulf Coast, though, has documented the presence of ancient Native Americans.

A paleontologist from the Houston Museum of Natural Science believes there were the remains of some very early native Americans.

"The people were doing hunter/gatherer type of lifestyle, where you have a small group of people and they're moving across the landscape," explained Dr. David Temple. "They're hunting when the hunting is good. They're collecting shellfish when the season is good for that. They're just moving all up and down the Texas coast."

The bone fragments remain at the undisclosed site, awaiting approval to remove them. What the state is trying to do is have the bones exhumed and stored in a safe place, then possibly even re-interred, so that construction can continue.

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