Excavation Starts Where Bones Were Found - Toledo News Now, Breaking News, Weather, Sports, Toledo

Excavation Starts Where Bones Were Found

MAUMEE -- Archaeologists began sifting through the dirt off River Road in Maumee on Friday. They're looking for more human bones on a site that is currently planned for river-view homes and condos.

They started their search at the trench where the first remains were found. They set a perimeter of less than 20 yards, then using a bulldozer, they dug up the soil looking for bones buried underneath. "We can get the disturbed soil off the very top layer we can see the tops of potential grave shafts where we see those we will go down further with power equipment," said Michael Pratt, an anthropologist.

If bones are found, they will shift gears from power tools to using their hands to dig. Then they'll take the bones they find to the Lucas County Coroner's office for examination. "I think there is a possibility that we are going to find out where there might be. It is possible that we can encounter graves today, but only if they are shallow," said Pratt.

The development is going on a site where the Miami Children's Home once stood. Crews turning dirt for the new homes and condos unearthed a set of bones earlier this month that were identified as human.

If more bones are found, there are plans to move them to a community burial site at Riverside Cemetery.

Count on News 11 to follow this story as it develops.

The old Miami Children's Home was a home for orphans since the 1860's until it closed in 1994. Michael Lora with the Toledo-Lucas County Public Library's local history department says early maps from 1900 show no cemetery or potter's field near that area.

But there may be links to earlier history. "The site on which it was built was close to Fort Miami, which as built by the British in 1794," said Lora. "The proximity with the Fort might have something to do with the remains that may have been found today."

Members of the Lucas County Historical Society also wonder if the site could be part of an old ancient Indian burial ground. But local historians say there's no record showing that land was anything but an open field before the children's home moved in.

Still, there's always a slight chance. "We're always very interested when bones are found because it can add to our knowledge of the Indian history in this area," said Lora.

Whatever it is, historians say the bones found could later speak volumes about local history.

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