14-year-old Ali Erturk was digging a hole for a fishing pond on his family's property when his shovel struck something... an object which turned out to be the centuries-old remains of an unidentified Native American.
“When I saw it looked like a human skull,” the ninth grader told Salt Lake's KTVX-TV, “then it definitely was a bit creepy.”
According to the Associated Press, a team from the Utah Department of Heritage and Arts responded to the discovery and finished recovery of the remains, which were later confirmed by medical examiners to date back roughly a millennium.
“Humans have occupied this valley for up to 10,000 years,” said the team's spokesman, Geoffrey Fattah, in an interview with The Salt Lake Tribune. “We do run into situations where progress runs into the ancient past.” He also said that around six cases of ancient remains like these are reported annually in the state.
Further study will be needed to determine the corpse's age and gender, and Utah's Division of Indian Affairs will also attempt to trace the find to one of the tribes native to that area, so that proper burial rites can be observed.
Another bizarre find in Mexico uncovered not only the remains of ancient Mayans, but also their pets... which were buried alongside them. Awww...