ALAMEDA -- Human bones that were discovered by a worker repaving a walkway on Mound Street on Wednesday are American Indian, police said.

The bones, which were found in the 1400 block of the street, consist of a portion of a skull and a jaw bone with teeth, plus several smaller fragments, Alameda police Lt. Ted Horlbeck said.

It was not immediately available whether the bones were from a man or a woman, or the age of the individual. But the Alameda County coroner's office confirmed the bones were from someone who was an American Indian, Horlbeck said.

The worker who found the remains was hired by a resident to carry out repaving work in his front yard.

Mound Street, where the bones were found, is named after one of a string of "shellmounds" constructed by the Ohlone tribe along the shore of San Francisco Bay before Europeans arrived.

The mound in Alameda was more than 14 feet high and covered about three acres in the area of present-day Gibbons Drive, Court Street and Central and Johnson avenues, according to historians. Along with shells and animal bones, workers reportedly found the remains of about 450 individuals when they demolished the mound during the early 20th century as part of developing the neighborhood.

In February 2009, a crew with the city's Public Works Department unearthed the remains of an American Indian child about 3 or 4 years old in the 3000 block of Washington Street.


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No clothes or other items were found with the bones, which the crew discovered while removing a 10-inch square of concrete from a gutter in the street.

Investigators initially suspected the bones were buried for about 80 years based on a date stamped on a nearby sidewalk. But an examination of the molars and other evidence by a forensic anthropologist indicated the bones were likely from someone who was part of the Ohlone tribe, according to the coroner's office.

Reach Peter Hegarty at 510-748-1654 or follow him on Twitter.com/Peter_Hegarty.