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STRATHAM — John Lamonday wasn’t sure what to think when he stuck his shovel in a pile of dirt to do a small landscaping project and saw what looked like part of a human skull.
Lamonday, who lives at 25 Coach Road, said at first he didn’t know what he had found. When he picked it up and held it in his hand, he said, it was unmistakable.
“At first, it looked like an old, dirty kickball,” Lamonday said. “Then, I picked it up in my hand and I immediately knew it was part of a skull, so I put it back and called the police.”
Two Stratham police officers arrived at Lamonday’s home May 12, followed by members of the State Police Major Crimes Unit, as per protocol when unidentified remains are found on private property. Lamonday said forensic crews were on hand most of the next day and came away with bag full of bone fragments.
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However, the remains were preliminarily determined to be very old and they were transferred to state archeologist Mark Doperalski of the New Hampshire Department of Historical Resources.
Doperalski said the top of the skull found was the most recognizable bone of the remains recovered. The findings also include a piece of a “larger” unknown bone. He said the rest of the 25 to 30 bones recovered are mostly fragments “the size of a thumb nail.”
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Doperalski said the bones preliminarily appear to most likely originate from a European colonial homestead in the area, dating back more than a century. He said additional DNA testing may be