Construction at a new home in north Sarnia remains on hold while the city seeks an archeologist to determine the origins of a human skull unearthed there last month.
The skull was found on the municipal side of the property line and City Hall, as directed by Ontario’s Registrar of Cemeteries, must seek the services of an independent archaeologist, said deputy clerk James Jenkins.
“They’ll conduct an investigation and once they begin they have five days. Then they have to report the possible cultural determinations to the registrar so that they can notify any parties early on that might be involved,” he said.
“The idea is to identify the appropriate representative to represent the deceased.”
Work was halted April 26 on one of several new homes going up on Colborne Road at Lakeshore after workers uncovered the human remains during the final stages of a sewer line installation.
Sarnia Police Services forensic unit attended the scene and quickly determined the situation was not suspicious.
Jenkins said there is no timeline for the archaeological process to begin but added they have “expedited the process.”
“The archeologist will also do some investigation to determine the extent of the site, to see if there are any other remains or artifacts,” he said.
“As far as we know at this point, there aren’t any.”
It is not known if neighbouring properties will be impacted, he added.
The site has been secured with fencing that isolates a small patch of what will become the driveway of the new home.
Our Lady of Sorrows Catholic Church was once located where the homes are being built, but the churchyard did not have a cemetery, former parishioners say.
The small church served the local Slovak community until it was closed in 2008.