FALLON — Formal control of a mummified set of tribal remains believed to be some of the oldest in North America has been transferred to a Nevada tribe.
U.S. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell says control of the remains and other funeral-related items found in Spirit Cave east of Fallon was formally transferred last week to the Fallon Paiute Shoshone Indian Tribe.
The Nevada State Museum in Carson City has been serving as the curator of the site, which was discovered by archaeologists Sydney and Georgia Wheeler during a salvage excavation on behalf of the state Parks Commission in 1940.
Carbon dating conducted on textile samples from the cave in the mid-1990s indicated some were more than 10,000 years old.
Jewell says the transfer means the tribe now has full legal control and may take permanent possession of the Spirit Cave Assemblage.