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A skull was found Monday in the front yard of an east Salt Lake City home, but Salt Lake City police won't be opening a new homicide file.

The state medical examiner's preliminary assessment is that the skull is part of "a very old skeleton," said police spokesman Cary Wichmann.

The possibly ancient cranium was unearthed about 10 a.m. Monday while residents of the home, near 1100 South and 1100 East, were excavating their front yard.

Detectives also have enlisted the assistance of the state archaeologist in identifying the remains, and perhaps to determine the cause of death.

"We've been told the archaeologist's office was able to determine bones to be prehistoric Native American," Wichmann added, but said researchers were still working to identify tribal affiliations.

The Utah State History Department's Archaeology Office did not immediately return a call seeking further details Tuesday.