DUCK, N.C. (WAVY) — A child discovered a partial jawbone in the surf in the town of Duck, North Carolina.

The child’s family handed it over to a lifeguard, who then gave it to the Town of Duck Police. Officials sent pictures of the jawbone to the Office of the State Medical Examiner.

After an initial examination of the photos, the pathologist requested additional photos with a focus on the four teeth. Based on the teeth, the pathologist offered a preliminary opinion that the jawbone belonged to a human.

The pathologist also classified the bone as historic, saying the person likely did not live in modern times.

Once the Office of the State Medical Examiner finishes its investigation, the bone will be sent to the State Archaeologist, in accordance with the Unmarked Human Burial and Human Skeletal Remains Protection Act.

Police Chief Jeff Ackerman and State Archaeologist Chad Mintz are trying to determine if additional exploration is warranted.   

According to a press release from the Town of Duck, the artifact is still in the custody of the Duck Police Department, but staff members are working with the state archaeologist to arrange the transfer of the artifact to the Office of State Archaeology in Raleigh.