Mayor's office: Gaillard bones likely colonial

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) - The bones found under the Gaillard Auditorium during a recent renovations project probably date back to colonial times, the mayor's office said Wednesday in a letter to Charleston City Council.

The mayor said archaeologists have determined there are probably 29 graves at the site.

Research into the city's past indicated the area had been developed in the early 1800s, meaning the bones would have to predate that time.

Riley's office said that archaeologists did not find any evidence of headstones are grave markers in the disrupted soil that would allow researchers to determine the exact time period the bodies were buries.

"We hope to be able to better document the age, and potentially the sex and ethnicity, of the remains with testing," the mayor said in the statement.

Riley has planned to run an ad letting the public know of the find and then let city council take 30 days to approve the removal of the graves and relocate them to another cemetery.

The discovery of the graves has not altered the timeline for the Gaillard Auditorium construction project, the mayor said.