‘The remains of our ancestors are sacred’: Tribe upset over ancient skull found desecrated at Port Williams Beach

File photo of a human skull.

PORT ANGELES, Wash. — The Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe is calling the desecration of an ancient skull found along Port Williams Beach a “grievous act” of disrespect.

According to the Clallam County Sheriff’s Office, a resident found the skull over Labor Day weekend and turned it into police.  The skull was missing its lower jaw bone and was glued to the top of a wood stake.

The King County Medical Examiner’s Office looked at photos of the skull and said it was likely more than 100 years old. It’s been sent to the state Department of Archaeology and Historic Preservation for examination.

Although the sheriff’s office said it’s not uncommon to find ancient human remains in Clallam County, it is rare to find remains that have been defiled.

“The Tribe is deeply disappointed with this grievous act,” said David Brownell, tribal historic preservation officer for the Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe. “The remains of our ancestors are sacred, and as such they are to be treated with the greatest measure of respect and our appropriate cultural reburial actions. It is our expectation, if the determination is made that the remains are Native, that we may soon rebury this ancestor with the respect and reverence that are part of our cultural tradition and practices.”

The sheriff’s office is investigating the desecrated skull and asks anyone with information to call Clallam County detectives at 360-417-2459.

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