The News Desk is a collection of news, notes and breaking items affecting the Fredericksburg community.
Human bone found during court site dig
BY ROBYN SIDERSKY
Archaeologists at the site of the new courthouse in downtown Fredericksburg found a human bone last week.
The bone is the right femur, or leg, of an adult male, according to a report written by Brynn Stewart, the principal investigator with Cultural Resources Inc., which is doing an archaeological search on the site at Princess Anne and Charlotte streets.
It was recovered by a backhoe operator near the southwest corner of the basement excavation between 0.8 feet and 2 feet below the surface in a modern fill layer of soil.
That layer contained about 40 percent gravel, cement, asphalt and brick rubble, the report said.
It is likely associated with the early-20th-century construction of a former funeral home building or the mid-20th-century construction of the Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court building, according to the report.
It’s also possible that the bone came from fill from another location within the city and later was trucked to the project site, the report said.
The bone was identified by a bioarchaeologist.
The ends of the bone are missing, so it was not possible to determine the height of the individual.
The bone is about 14 inches long and about 3.5 inches in circumference at the mid-shaft, which told the researcher that it was a man’s bone, according to the report.
It is not believed to have any historical significance to the project area.
When human remains are found, a report is written by the archaeologists, but the Police Department conducts a review and evaluation as well, said Bob Antozzi, the city’s director of parks, recreation and public facilities.
Antozzi said the city also notified the Virginia Department of Historic Resources, but has not received a response.
Over the past few weeks, CRI has been conducting a dig at the site where the new courthouse will be built.
Robyn Sidersky 540/374-5413