Bones found at court services center construction site are 2,000 to 3,000 years old

Alexis Martinez, left, and Chris Schmidt, with the University of Indianapolis anthropology department, look for human and animal bones and bone fragments at the site of the new court services building in Columbus, Ind., Tuesday, June 8, 2021. The team of the University of Indianapolis was called into remove and take custody of bones found when excavation work started on the new court services building. Mike Wolanin | The Republic

COLUMBUS, Ind. — Human remains found at the construction site for the new Bartholomew County Court Services Center are believed to be thousands of years old.

Redevelopment Director Heather Pope said Monday that, according to the Indiana Department of Natural Resources, the discovered bones are “ancestral in nature” and 2,000 to 3,000 years old. 

So far, three different individuals have been identified from the remains: an adult male, a preteen and an infant. 

Rachel Sharkey, a research archaeologist with the Indiana Division of Historic Preservation and Archaeology, said that the remains are still undergoing analysis at the University of Indianapolis.

Pope said that moving forward, an archeology monitor will be onsite to oversee the digs and check for additional human remains.

Construction on the new court services building continues to move forward, and the building is still set to open in April of 2022, she said.

For the complete story, see Wednesday’s Republic.