Kino Springs

The remains were found at the Kino Springs Golf Course, which lies near the Santa Cruz River east of Nogales.

A maintenance crew working at the Kino Springs Golf Course this week discovered human remains that authorities say date to prehistoric times.

The Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office received a call shortly before 11 a.m. on Tuesday from someone who said they were working on installing water pipes and came across what they believed were human remains.

Sgt. Santiago Gonzales said Sheriff’s Office personnel proceeded to take photos of the remains, and the images were then sent to the Pima County Office of the Medical Examiner for review.

“They were able to determine that the remains were prehistoric, so at this point the case is going to be referred to the Arizona Historical Museum,” Gonzales said.

He added that the recovered remains were transported to Adair’s Carroon Mortuary in Nogales. From there, James Watson, associate director of the Arizona State Museum, will take over to conduct further research.

“I know he planned to visit Adair’s to pick up the remains that they had and then I would imagine that he would go out to the site and explore further,” Gonzales said.

The golf course is set along the north-flowing Santa Cruz River, and according to the article “Archaeological discoveries reveal value of Santa Cruz River in prehistory,” posted to the website of the University of Arizona Water Resources Research Center, the Santa Cruz River Valley is one of North America’s longest inhabited regions, with the earliest evidence of human occupation dating back 12,000 years.

“Around 4,000 prehistoric sites have been identified in the Santa Cruz watershed and exciting new discoveries continue to be made,” the article says.

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