Photos of a road near the town of Kirensk with fragments of bones that appeared human and a human skull were posted on social media on November 15, sparking harsh online criticism of the authorities.
The Irkutsk regional police confirmed to Interfax that the bones were human, adding that an investigation was launched into the matter.
The news agency quoted a source as saying that the bones were taken by accident when a company involved in the road work extracted sand at a site close to a cemetery.
Most of the bones are more than a century old, according to the source.
With reporting by Interfax
Copyright (c) 2018. RFE/RL, Inc. Republished with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave NW, Ste 400, Washington DC 20036