Remains of 12,600-year-old Native toddler reburied in Montana

Shane Doyle, a professor and member of the Crow Tribe who was involved in the study of the Native boy, prepares to sing an honor song in September 2013. Photo by Kelly Gorham / Montana State University

A reburial ceremony was held for a 12,600-year-old boy whose DNA showed a link to present-day Native people.

The boy was discovered on a ranch in Montana in 1968. He was reburied at a site not far from his original resting place.

“The spirit is now back to the other side,” said Thomas Larson Medicine Horse Sr., an elder from the Crow Tribe who participated in the ceremony, The Billings Gazette reported.

The boy was buried with more than 100 artifacts. His remains and the items had been covered with red ochre, a sign that his community conducted a burial ceremony after he died.

DNA tests showed that he shared the same genes as present-day Native people who live as far away as Central and South America. Shane Doyle, a professor at Montana State University, participated in the study.

“It’s one thing to believe and sense that your people have been here for thousands and thousands of years,” Doyle, a Crow tribal member, said in a press release earlier this year. “It’s another thing to have scientific evidence and proof that those paleo-Indians were us and we are them.”

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Remains of ancient child ceremoniously reburied (The Billings Gazette 6/28)

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