Bones unearthed at Park City construction site |

Bones unearthed at Park City construction site

Anthropologist determines they are not from a human

Crews working at the former site of the Kimball Art Center in Old Town unearthed bones in late December. The Park City Police Department says a state anthropologist determined the bones are not human.
Courtesy of the Park City Police Department

A construction crew working in Old Town in late December unearthed bones while excavating the site, the Park City Police Department said, an unexpected find but one that is reminiscent of other discoveries made when digging in the historic district.

Phil Kirk, a police captain, said the department received a report at 11:35 a.m. on Dec. 30. Kirk said the construction crew also found a horseshoe and the sole of a leather shoe. The finds were made toward the northwest corner of the site, he said. Work was stopped for an investigation and was allowed to restart less than 45 minutes later, the police said.

Kirk said the Police Department took photos of the bones and forwarded the images to a state anthropologist. The anthropologist determined the bones are not human. The species was not known by the middle of the week.

The construction site is at the corner of Main Street and Heber Avenue, the former location of the Kimball Art Center.

Old Town as a neighborhood dates to the 19th century, and there are numerous properties that were built decades before the skiing era started in the 1960s. Park City was founded as a silver-mining camp in the 19th century with what later became known as Old Town as the core.

The building that once housed the Kimball Art Center dates to 1929 and a livery stable was there beforehand, according to the site’s entry on a City Hall-kept inventory of historic properties.

The developer who acquired the property from the Kimball Art Center recently started a significant redo that will include event space and commercial square footage. The excavation is some of the first major work.

There have been occasional finds over the years in Old Town as excavators start digging. A notable one, in 2006, involved the discovery of a human skull and skull fragments at a construction site in the vicinity of the 1200 blocks of Empire and Norfolk avenues.

Horse bones have been found and a metal cabinet believed to be for keeping opium was once discovered during the excavation of the site of the China Bridge garage. Evidence of a devastating 1898 fire that leveled much of Park City of that era is sometimes found at a depth of between two and three feet.

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