London, May 4 : As climate change is accelerating soil erosion in the Alaskan Arctic, ancient graveyards are being dragged out to sea.
Archaeologists are trying to preserve the remains of the native Inupiat people's ancestors before they are lost forever as the coast off the town of Barrow crumbles.
Hundreds of graves containing the bodies of children and adults are thought to have lain at Point Barrow, once a thriving Arctic village known as Nuvuk located at the northernmost tip of the US.
The graves, dug with shovels made using walrus shoulder blades, were discovered when the police were called to grisly reports of bones spewed from the soil at the edge of the Arctic Ocean.
The sacred remains, repatriated in graveyards further inland by the local community, date from 875.
"The local people consider them distant relatives," The Sun quoted local archaeologist Anne Jensen, as saying.
"It doesn't exactly thrill people. Nobody realised this was happening but erosion is accelerating because of climate change," she added.