Construction workers digging at the Fulton Theatre unearthed several large bones earlier this summer, and the Lancaster County coroner has opened an investigation into whether they belonged to humans or animals.
The Fulton is undergoing about $25 million in renovations just weeks before its new season begins. The discovery of bones did not halt the project.
After an LNP reporter began inquiring about the bones on Monday, the find was reported by the Fulton and its contractor to the Lancaster city police and the Lancaster County Coroner. Marc Robin, CEO of the Fulton Theatre, said the deputy coroner who came to collect the bones told him her first impression was they are animal.
The discovery was made last month as construction crews dug a trench for a pipe in the basement of the house at the corner of Water and King Streets. Approximately 20 to 30 bones or fragments were found.
The recent find comes about two months after employees of Warfel Construction, who are managing the job, discovered a horse jawbone, Robin said.
When construction works found the more recent bones, they assumed they were more horse bones and did not immediately inform the Fulton, Robin said. Once the Fulton became aware of the new bones on Monday, they immediately called the authorities to be sure.
Howard Pollman, director of external affairs for the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, said their recommendation is to call the local coroner when bones are found.
“You don’t know what the circumstances are,” he said. “Are they historical? It’s just good practice.”
Lancaster County Coroner Stephen Diamantoni said it may take months to officially determine the origin of the bones.
The Fulton Theatre was the site of the Conestoga Indian Massacre in 1763, although the victims were buried elsewhere.