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Thursday, January 24, 2013

Not actual bones, just used for reference

This is a guest post by Tim Cornett. Tim is a amateur Kentucky historian and author.
Tim has worked as a reporter, publisher, editor and photographer.
Find out more about Tim by Clicking Here

Several years ago Dr. James S. Golden, Jr. of Pineville told an interesting story of the discovery of skeletons on the mountain just outside of Pineville.
According to Golden, a local hunter stopped to rest just before dawn. Sitting down on what he thought was a pile of brush and branches at the bottom of a tree, the hunter discovered he was seated on a pile of what looked to be human bones.

These bones were taken to Golden, who was able to assemble four almost complete skeletons - complete except for the skulls. Golden said that the skeletons appeared to be from a race of people who were “short and stocky. The femurs were twice the diameter of a modern man’s, and shorter.” He estimated that the people would have weighed between two and three hundred pounds, based on their skeletal structure.

Without the skulls there was no way of determining more about these people. Theorizing that the bones had come from some ancient burial site on Pine Mountain, Golden, the hunter, and others scoured the mountainside for more bones, and hopefully, the skulls.
Dr. Golden’s best theory was that the bones had washed out of their resting place during heavy rains over many years and lodged against the tree where they were found. He guessed that the skulls, being round, would have rolled on down the mountain side and possibly entered the Cumberland River just south of Pineville, where US 119 meets US 25E.

The skulls were never located and Golden, unable to glean any more information from the skeletons, sent them on to The Smithsonian Institution, where presumably they rest today. (Efforts by the author to locate these skeletons have been unsuccessful; Golden forwarded them to the museum, but calls to the Smithsonian have proved fruitless in finding their exact whereabouts.)

-- excerpt from Bell County, Kentucky: A Brief History by Tim Cornett

[Locally you can get Tim's books at Book Haven, The Cumberland Gap National Park and the Bell County Historical Museum.]

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  1. Maybe they were children?

    1. The Femur bone was much too large to be from a child or an adult, from what was told.

  2. That SOUNDS exactly like Neanderthals. Or maybe bears-but I'm hoping for Neanderthals. A pity the skulls were not there.

    1. yeah I personally think it was Neanderthals, Dr. Golden would have known if it was a bear I think.


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