The case of the missing Yukon horse skull has been closed.
A pink-and-black cloth bag carrying the Carcross desert’s missing horse skull, half its lower jaw, bones from front and back limbs and two missing vertebra was dropped at the Whitehorse Star by an anonymous do-gooder on Monday morning around 8 a.m.
“We were just getting ready to take the trailer up to Dawson for field work when I got the phone call,” Yukon’s assistant paleontologist Elizabeth Hall said.
Though she said they are still missing part of the tail and a few other small bones, the archaeology branch now possesses a fairly complete skeleton of a pregnant mare, carrying an intact, developed foal.
The remains have been dated to around the 1960s or 1970s. The skeleton had been previously thought to be from around the turn of the century.
The archaeology branch asked the public last week for help recovering parts of the skeleton which went missing in the 24-hour period between when the skeleton was reported by passers-by and when the archaeology team went to excavate it. It has no ancient or archaeological value, but it should serve as a useful comparison piece for Yukon archaeology’s library to help scientists compare bones in future excavations.
“We are just very pleased that someone turned it in,” archeologist Greg Hare said.