VCU building will tell the story of 18th century human remains found in 1994 at the bottom of a well | Education


Workers discovered the human remains in 1994 during the construction of the Kontos Medical Sciences Building. The skeletal remains were 25 feet below East Marshall Street, where a separate hospital for African Americans existed.

According to a Richmond Times-Dispatch story at the time, the brick well was “full of water and topped with clay,” preserving body parts. Other artifacts found in the well included a dozen shoes, pieces of imported plates, a bottle of green wine with a concave bottom, a pipette, test tubes and hand-blown beakers.

Archaeologists did not have much time to examine the site. One of the new signs says that on the last day of work, archaeologists “watched in horror as backhoe operators remove buckets of human remains from the site before the construction crew began to cover the shaft and continue the excavation. construction process “.

And not all of the human remains have been searched, according to The Times-Dispatch. Six days after the first discovery, explorers found a smaller well at the bottom of the first. Instead of removing the human parts, they covered the well with cement.

“That would have meant putting on scuba gear and going down a well full of corpses,” L. Daniel Mouer, founder of the VCU Archaeological Research Center, told the newspaper in 1994. “We’ll leave that to archaeologists in two or three hundred. years.”


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