Bones at Gaillard site remain a mystery
The mystery of the bones found at the Gaillard Auditorium construction site remains unsolved after a review of records dating back to the early 1800s.
Two sets of human remains were discovered Monday during digging for a stormwater pipe trench near George and Anson streets. So far, age, gender and identity are unknown.
The City of Charleston reported Friday that no cemetery or graves within the construction site were identified in property owner records dating back nearly 200 years.
“Preliminary information suggests that these graves pre-date the subdivision of the property in 1818,” said city spokeswoman Barbara Vaughan.
No headstones, nails or other grave-related artifacts have been found.
“The contractor and archaeologist wil resume additional exploratory archaeological investigations on Monday to determine if there are any other graves in the area,” Vaughan said.
Work stopped at the construction site when the bones were found. The city called in police and the county coroner, but there was no evidence of a crime.
The Gaillard was built in the late 1960s, so the site has been covered for decades. Work on the rest of the $142 million auditorium makeover is continuing while the city evaluates the situation. City officials warned that the area has security, and they don’t want treasure hunters coming in after hours.
The remains are buried head-to-toe, indicating they could be part of a larger and more formal graveyard spread out around the performing arts center. Bolstering that theory is the fact that both sets of remains are facing east, aligning with the Christian belief of positioning the dead so they can rise and receive the second coming of Christ, officials said.
Reach Prentiss Findlay at 937-5711.