LAKE GEORGE — The human bones unearthed by contractors at a building site on Courtland Street on Thursday are believed to date back decades or longer, and are not those of a Native American.
Those were among the conclusions that archaeologist David Starbuck drew after reviewing them on Friday, as efforts continued to see if there were additional human remains on the site.
Starbuck, a local archaeology professor who has been involved in many historic digs in the region, was called in by representatives of the New York State Museum and Warren County Sheriff’s Office when a contractor reported finding bones when digging for a foundation Thursday morning.
A skull, jawbone, pelvis and leg bones were among the bones found.
LAKE GEORGE — Police are investigating the discovery of what appeared to be human bones at a construction site in the town of Lake George on T…
He said the remains appeared to be those of an adult of European descent, likely male, based on examination of the skull, teeth and jaw. Native Americans had genetic differences with their incisors from Europeans.
The lack of materials from a casket on the site led to the conclusion the remains likely dated to the 1800s or earlier, although determining their age would be hindered by acidic soil that affected their condition. It’s also not possible to say how the person died, he added.
“The bones are not in very good shape,” Starbuck explained.
Starbuck, along with sheriff’s officers who included Sheriff Bud York, and contractors sifted through the dirt Friday, looking through a big pile of sandy sediment as it was poured from a backhoe.
Police said there hadn’t been any excavation on the site since the mid-1950s.
Construction work was allowed to continue later Friday after a search turned up no additional bones or remains. Had the bones been those of a Native American, work would have been stopped for a more thorough review of the site.
The site at the intersection with Mohican Street had formerly been the home of Whispering Pines Cabins, and new homes are being built there. It is also a short distance from Caldwell Cemetery.
York pointed out there have been numerous similar discoveries around Lake George during construction projects over the years, with Fort William Henry, Lake George Battlefield and other historic battle sites dating to the 1700s and French and Indian War in town.
“It’s not that unusual to find human remains around Lake George,” Starbuck said.