On February 25th in the early Tuesday morning, a construction crew was preparing to pour a concrete base for the new Transbay Transit Center when workers discovered an old but well-preserved skeleton.
“Today at about 8 a.m., we made a discovery of what we believe to be human remains,” Stephanie Reichin, spokesperson for the Transbay Joint Powers Authority stated in KTVU news.
Later it was discovered that the skeleton was an American Indian.
Workers discovered the skeleton on the east side of the construction site at a depth of 60 feet, near Fremont Street.
Reichin explained that once the skeleton was found, the Authority immediately contacted the San Francisco Medical Examiner’s office and the project’s architects, who confirmed that the remains were those of an Indian. The remains were left in place and cordoned off in a protected area with a 100-foot radius.
Officials then contacted the state’s Native American Heritage Commission. The commission will appoint a Native American, probably within days, to serve as “most likely descendant” and determine whether the remains should be removed or left on the site and buried.
The $1.9 billion Transbay transit center is continuing their building outside the protected area, and Reichin says the remains are not expected to cause significant delays.
“We are still progressing with construction work as normal,” Raichin said in the SF Gate.
The San Francisco County Transportation Authority claimed on their website that, “The project consists of three interconnected elements: 1) replacing the outmoded terminal with a modern terminal; 2) extending Caltrain 1.3 miles from Fourth and King streets to the new TTC at First and Mission streets, with accommodations for future high-speed rail; and 3) creating a new transit-friendly neighborhood with 3,000 new homes (35 percent of which will be affordable) and mixed-use commercial development.”
This is one of the largest projects in the Prop K Expenditure Plan, which specifies that downtown rail extension and terminals must be built as one.
This construction site has continuously amazed the construction crew; not only has a skeleton been found, but also a gold nugget, a 10,000- to 15,000-year-old mammoth tooth, and artifacts from working class Irish families in the 1800’s.
As more construction takes place in San Francisco, the ground is being dug up and many historical relics are being reveiled. Under the hundreds of thousands of buildings lie artifacts and skeletons that tell the city’s past.