by Geoff Larcom, Published June 29, 2011
Further skeletal remains of an older man buried in a 19th-century cemetery formerly located on what is now the campus of Eastern Michigan University were discovered today by investigators.
The remains, which included a skull and coffin remnants, are consistent with a burial from the late 1800s, said Professor Norm Sauer, director of the Forensic Anthropology Lab at Michigan State University.
Sauer led a team of MSU graduate students in investigating the site Tuesday after several bones were first reported Monday as construction crews performed excavation for a new steam line project adjacent to EMU's Physical Plant building on the northeast corner of campus.
Construction crews notified Eastern Michigan's Department of Public Safety, which contacted the Michigan State Police Crime Lab. MSU is the designated partner of the Michigan State Police in performing such archaeological investigations.
The bones were apparently from a Catholic cemetery (see attached map) formerly located near what is now Ann Street on EMU's campus. County records indicate the cemetery was relocated before 1900.
The bones, along with artifacts such as a coffin handle, were found six to seven feet underground below a concrete driveway area near the Physical Plant Building. No further excavation is planned.
Sauer said his team will continue to investigate the remains for more details.