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Human Remains Found Under 100-Year-Old Music Venue

Cincinnati Music Hall stands on an old burial ground
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted May 1, 2016 4:39 PM CDT
Human Remains Found Under 100-Year-Old Music Venue
Work is seen on a $133 million streetcar project in front of Music Hall, Wednesday, Nov. 6, 2013, in Cincinnati.   (AP Photo/Al Behrman)

Workers renovating a century-old performance hall discovered human remains under the orchestra pit and now archeologists are planning to analyze the bones, the AP reports. The property under Cincinnati Music Hall was a public burial ground in 1818, and bones have been popping up since construction began for the building in 1876, including a skull and other bones during a major renovation in 1969. Then crews uncovered the latest find while removing asbestos in late March, the Cincinnati Enquirer reports. Heavy excavation hasn't yet started on the venue's $135 million renovation project. Gray & Pape, a firm that conducts archaeological and historical investigations, concluded the arm and leg bones are believed to belong to four adult bodies.

Six other grave shafts were identified in the north carriageway, which is the space between Music Hall's main building and the North Hall; each contained burials in wooden coffins. The property under Music Hall was once a potter's field—or a public burial ground. According to a report by the project manager for the renovation, the bones may have been moved from an original burial ground and reburied in a single grave. Like past discoveries, the project manager says, the latest remains may end up at Spring Grove Cemetery in Cincinnati. Meanwhile, comments are popping up on Facebook from orchestra fans and musicians who say the bones may belong to previous conductors, the much-criticized viola players, or a "de-composer." (Read more bones stories.)

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