- Associated Press - Sunday, June 28, 2015

LOWELL, Ind. (AP) - A team of archaeologists has discovered mummified human remains that could be 2,000 years old at the site of a planned northwestern Indiana quarry, authorities said.

The team found the remains Friday on the site of a planned quarry southeast of Lowell, or about 20 miles south of Gary, The (Munster) Times reported (http://bit.ly/1SVhZSF ).

“They’re saying it could be 500 to 2,000 years old,” Lake County Sheriff John Buncich said. “They could distinguish a head and a torso. It could be a Native American burial ground.”

The archaeologists who found the remains had been hired by Cardno Environmental Consultation Co. to search for pre-historic artifacts at the site, which is required in order to get permits for such excavation projects.

The sheriff’s office and coroner’s office were called out to the scene and quickly established the possible human remains were not part of a crime scene, Lake County Coroner Merrilee Frey said.

“The artifacts found at the scene have been determined by the Cardno archaeologists at the scene to possibly be human remains but the exact age is still unknown at this time,” Frey said.

The investigation now is being handled by state archaeologists in the Indiana Department of Natural Resources, Frey and Buncich said said.

“We handed it over to DNR because it’s their bailiwick,” he said. “They took the remains, and they’re dealing with it now.”

It wasn’t immediately clear how the discovery would affect development of the Singleton Stone quarry.

Farmers and residents in southern Lake County have opposed the quarry, which Indianapolis-based Rieth-Riley Construction Co. intends to mine for a concrete aggregate that’s used in road construction. The quarry also would be used as a giant retention pond to capture overflow from nearby Singleton Ditch.

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Information from: The Times, http://www.thetimesonline.com

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