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COLUMBUS, Ind. — Construction in Columbus has led to the discovery of Native American remains that may be thousands of years old.

“We don’t really know how old they are. Our best guess is in that 2,000 to 3,000 years old range,” said UIndy archaeology professor Christopher Schmidt who has been analyzing the remains.

Workers came across the bones while digging a foundation for a building behind the jail. They contacted the Indiana Department of Natural Resources who sent out a researcher.

Once they realized the remains were extremely old, archeologists at UIndy became involved. They believe the bones may be before Europeans settled in America. The area is a burial ground that has the remains of at least five people, and maybe more. In the top layers of the ground, they also found artifacts from the mid-1800s and early 1900s from Hoosiers who settled on the burial grounds.

“Whenever we are in a particular place, there is this amazing history just in this one place,” detailed Schmidt, “There’s all these different layers.”

UIndy researchers say the remains predate Native American tribes as we know it. Schmidt believes the remains may have ancestral connections to Miami, Shawnee, or Potawatomi tribes.