LOS ANGELES – Archaeologists say they have discovered the remains of 80 bodies at the construction site for a new high school.
The city began using the hillside location near downtown as a cemetery in the 1860s. Officials reviewed records before construction began in 2003 on the $208 million performing arts high school and concluded the cemetery had been relocated.
Workers, however, have found empty caskets, partial remains and intact skeletons.
"We always knew there was the possibility we would encounter historical artifacts, but the records we had indicated the cemetery had been relocated," said Julia Hawkinson, project manager for Grand Avenue School. "We always had archaeologists on board, but we didn't know how much (would be found) or where."
Archaeologists believe it will be nearly impossible to identify the bodies, but are examining burial records, historical maps and identifiable markings on the caskets. They also are tracking down old casket catalogs to help determine when they might have been bought, archaeologist Monica Strauss said.
The remains are being stored in a secured facility and eventually will be transferred to Rosedale Cemetery.