LAKE GEORGE — Eighteen archaeologists will be on the site Thursday of a potential 18th-century burial ground in Lake George, where human remains from as many as 10 people have been found, to look for more clues to their identity.
Archaeologists and officials from the New York State Museum, state Historic Preservation Office and state Department of Environmental Conservation will be at the site at Courtland and Mohican streets, where a contractor discovered bones a week ago during excavation for two three-unit apartment buildings. Also, some buttons have been found that may have come from a Revolutionary War-era uniform.
“They’re all going to be there cooperatively with the permission of the owner,” said Michael Borgos, lawyer for developers Ruben and Danna Ellsworth. “The owner has agreed to hold off on any further digging or construction of the walls. Everything has stopped. We’re going to give free access to the site, but it is still a private property ownership situation. Only those archaeologists for the state who have our permission will be allowed on.”
There are 10 or 11 burial shafts, according to Borgos. An area measuring 60 feet by 60 feet has been excavated and the archaeologists will be sifting through the pile of soil.
If there is a major discovery, Borgos said they will try to get the news out as quickly as possible, possibly late Thursday afternoon but more likely on Friday.
“It may take awhile to conclusively prove anything, but it’s exciting nonetheless,” he said.
Members of the public are not permitted on the site. The Warren County Sheriff’s Office has been patrolling the scene and has been instructed to arrest and charge with trespassing anyone who does not have permission to be there.
“We had indications that people had been trespassing overnight, which is of great concern, because this is a place that deserves a lot of respect,” Borgos said.
“It’s very disturbing to think that somebody would sneak out to a site like this when everybody is working so hard to be cautious and respectful,” he added.