Bones found on Broughton St. during construction identified as animal bones

Published: Apr. 18, 2023 at 4:43 PM EDT|Updated: Apr. 18, 2023 at 6:20 PM EDT
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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - The City of Savannah cut the ribbon on the Broughton Streetscape project just a few weeks ago.

The project, which was only supposed to take a few months, instead took nearly 3 years to complete.

Last fall, construction for that $13 million project came to a halt after workers found bones under Broughton.

There was concern that they were human remains.

A GBI report, obtained by WTOC Investigates, sheds more light on the bones that were found on Broughton Street.

The GBI was called in to figure out whether or not the bones were human.

A detective with the Savannah Police Department and the state’s leading forensic anthropologist Dr. Alice Gooding reviewed photos of the remains and said they were not human. Dr. Gooding said the size and shape of the bones and the number of cusps on the teeth mean they are definitely not human remains.

As for how animal bones could end up buried under downtown Savannah, Dr. Gooding told WTOC the bones are very old.

She says Broughton Street would have had a lot of large animals many years ago since animals were used for transportation, and were shipped through Savannah’s port.

Historic items like bones and cannonballs have been uncovered so many times during recent construction projects in Savannah that the city created an archaeology ordinance back in 2019.