Human bone found in Minnesota River determined to be nearly 8,000 years old
Bone found in the Minnesota River near Sacred Heart. Photo from the Renville County Sheriff's Office
A bone found in the Minnesota River last fall is human and is nearly 8,000 years old, according to the Renville County Sheriff’s Office.
The bone was found by a pair of kayakers south of Sacred Heart in September 2021. It was sent to the Midwest Medical Examiner’s Office, which determined the bone came from a human.
The bone was then sent to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, according to Renville County. A forensic anthropologist from the FBI examined the bone and concluded it had come from a young, adult male that had a depressed area in the skull consistent with blunt force trauma.
“Through Carbon-14 analysis, preliminary information shows this individual would have been alive between 5,500 to 6,000 BCE (Before Common Era),” a Facebook post from the Renville County Sheriff’s Office says. “That dates this bone almost 8,000 years!”
The post goes on to describe how the Carbon-14 review revealed the man would have had a heavy marine diet or a diet high in maize, pearl millet, or sorghum, which is outside the range of the American diet.