Construction crew digs up human remains of more than 20 people while building a school
SUGAR LAND, Texas —
Construction on a school in Texas turned into an archaeological excavation when crews uncovered an unmarked cemetery. Now, they are trying to figure out how many bodies are on the site and what to do with them.
Work was halted on part of a $59 million Fort Bend Independent School District project.
The northeast corner of University Boulevard and ChathamAavenue in Sugar Land one day will be the James Reese Career and Technical Center. Hidden beneath the dirt, crews found human remains.
"At this point, we're at a couple of dozen. That number keeps changing as the archaeologists continue to dig. At this point, we don't have a timeframe of how old these graves are," said Veronica Sopher, who is with the district.
The district says they discovered a cemetery with at least 24 people. Tests are now underway to determine just how long they've lingered here unknown.
The Texas Historical Commission says it's not totally uncommon to find older burial places. There's a process in place to excavate the land.
"It is definitely a mystery. It's important to make sure that we're taking care of it, preserving it, making sure that we're following all the rules and regulations. And really try to learn as much as we can because we don't know how old these remains are," Sopher said.
Right now, there's no timeframe on when construction might resume on the property.
Fort Bend ISD says when they purchased the land in 2011. They surveyed it, never suspecting they'd find this.
"Nothing in any of the preliminary reports indicated that there was a grave or any other historical land area that we needed to be mindful of," Sopher said.