You never know what lies beneath the floor you’re digging. You may have heard tales of construction crews that found mummified remains or ancient fossils. What actions should you take regarding excavation site bones?
What to Do with Excavation Site Bones in Tacoma
Digging rocky soil using an excavator is par for the course for contractors. 99% of the time, the exhumed earth is nothing but mounds of dirt, soil, and pebbles. However, it’s not unheard of for crew members to discover skeletal remains. What do you do? Do you just resume work and keep digging?
Halt all Activity
Stop all construction work right away. Washington law requires construction workers to halt all activity upon finding bones. Don’t disturb the remains or try to dig them out if they're still partially buried.
Report the Findings
Notify the client/landowner. Can you identify the nature of the bones? Is it human or animal? If the former, then you contact law enforcement or the local coroner's office. The site may be a crime scene. If it's animal remains, then contact the local university or state geological office. The bones may simply be a buried pet from a prior property owner. On the other hand, the bones may be of anthropological significance and warrant analysis from an expert.