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Buhl Woman facts for kids

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Buhla is the name for a skeleton of a prehistoric (Paleo-Indian) woman found in a quarry near Buhl, Idaho, United States, in January 1989. The skeleton's age has been estimated by radiocarbon dating at 10,675 ± 95 BP, which confirms this as one of the oldest sets of human remains found in the Americas. The discovery was made by a quarry worker when he noticed what was found to be a thigh bone in the screen of a rock crusher. The nearly complete skeleton was subsequently unearthed nearby.

Possibility of grave goods

Buhla's right cheek lay atop a pressure-flaked, pointed obsidian tool. Since this tool shows no sign of wear, and since the positioning of this tool seems deliberate, it has been theorized that it was made as a grave offering. In addition, fragments from what could be an awl or pin and a broken bone needle were found with the skeleton, along with an incised badger bone. Like the obsidian tool, the eye of the bone needle showed no signs of wear.


Buhla was found on State land, not federal, so the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA) did not apply. She was repatriated under State of Idaho Statute, the general provisions of which are that remains determined to be Native American are to be returned to the nearest federally recognized Tribe, in this instance, the Shoshone–Bannock Tribes at Fort Hall. In 1992, the remains and the artifacts were turned over to the Shoshone–Bannock of Fort Hall over the strenuous objections of many archaeologists, and despite the lack of evidence linking Buhla with this tribe. The tribe reburied the remains in 1993.

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