Smithsonian: Georgetown Human Remains are 'Obviously Historic'

Bones found on Q Street last week likely belonged to an adult male, aged approximately 35 years.

During routine construction last week, contractors accidentally discovered human remains buried four or five feet below the foundation of a Georgetown home. An expert from the Smithsonian Institution told Patch in an interview that the discovery was not forensic, i.e. related to a crime, but rather the bones were "obviously historic in nature."

The remains of a wooden coffin and an intact skeleton were found during construction on the home at 3333 Q St., NW. The contractors were digging a grade for a driveway between 3333 and 3329 Q St., NW when their equipment struck the skull of the skeleton. Contractors then notified police when they realized the bones were likely human.

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The house sits just across from Volta Park, route: {:controller=>"listings", :action=>"show", :id=>"volta-park-recreation-center-and-pool"} --> and was built in 1895, according to records from the . Mamout, whose portrait is displayed in the

Jerry A. McCoy September 17, 2012 at 02:22 PM
When I made my "offer" I was thinking perhaps only part of a clavicle or a rib was dug up...not the remains of a complete skeleton and coffin! Perhaps these remains can be interred in Georgetown's Oak Hill Cemetery.
Shaun Courtney (Editor) September 17, 2012 at 02:31 PM
I wondered where you'd store it!
Claire Frémont-Hampton September 17, 2012 at 03:28 PM
I wonder how many other homes are sitting atop human remains. One would think that a city would keep records of old burial grounds to prevent these occurrences.
Shaun Courtney (Editor) September 17, 2012 at 04:14 PM
Hi Claire, the city does have records of old burial grounds, but not every burial site. In this case the homes were built over 100 years ago on top of what was possibly an unmarked burial ground. In some cases, the cemeteries were never marked because of the nature of the burial site. Dr. Hunt said that often black cemeteries did not have plots marked, which may have been the case here. We'll keep you posted on anything more we learn! -SC
Claire Frémont-Hampton September 18, 2012 at 05:49 PM
Its sad to think that someone may be lying right under the floor of a house, completely forgotten. That's my take on the issue; my children, of course, think its funny to say "they're here" ever since I've mentioned this article.
Shaun Courtney (Editor) September 18, 2012 at 05:57 PM
It is sad to think of being forgotten, though it's interesting to think about getting 15 minutes of fame hundreds of years after your death. Either way this sounds like a good story to scare a bunch of teenagers with at a sleepover. -SC
Candra Foster October 03, 2012 at 06:23 PM
Just in time for Halloween! Seriously, so many people due to customs in the Victorian times did a lot of things out of fear, shame or poverty. I read abt a Victorian home new owners were renovating. In the attic space above the bedroom were found 3 mummified newborn babies. Each had been wrapped and placed in small boxes and hidden under other storage items. Old news papers found in the attic were over 100 yrs old. Records traced showed a family who lived there with a young daughter. So many old houses have a story to tell. Hope they can find out who this person was. They deserve a proper burial.


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