Remains of Three Indians Found in Santa Barbara
Three Chumash skeletal remains believed to be at least 200 years old were discovered near the carousel at the Santa Barbara Zoo.
A zoo employee who was digging a ditch for a new electrical line uncovered part of a skull, jaw, leg bones and other remains about two feet below the surface.
UC Santa Barbara forensic archeologist Phillip Walker determined they were Chumash remains belonging to a middle-aged woman, a man and a teenage male.
“At first, we were thinking it might have been a homicide victim that had been buried out there,” Walker said. “But all evidence--such as the tooth wear, features of the skull and shape of the teeth--clearly indicated they were Native American remains.”
It’s not uncommon for Chumash remains and other artifacts to be uncovered in the Santa Barbara area, once densely populated by these Native American people.
The zoo has notified the Native American Heritage Commission in Sacramento, which probably will attempt to contact the closest living relatives in the area.