Previously: Human Remains From 1800s Found In Fort Mason
Archaeologists have continued to find more artifacts and human remains at San Francisco’s Fort Mason compound after bones were first discovered on Monday underneath a historic building, a U.S. Park Service spokeswoman said.
Crews today discovered several bones believed to be from the 19th Century and a bottle that reads “hair tonic” underneath what used to be a hospital at a former military installation, Park Service spokeswoman Alexandra Picavet said.
According to several sources, hair tonic used to be a common styling product for men.
Many tonics were considered poisonous because they contained ethanol, which has been used historically to produce alcoholic beverages and truth serums.
“Every day they’ve found more artifacts and more bones,” Picavet said. “We honestly did not think that this was going to keep on going.”
Investigators first found remains on Monday about two feet below ground during renovation of a historic building. Crews were removing soil contaminated by lead paint when they stumbled upon the discovery.
Bones from several human bodies have been unearthed since then and could total about 20 individuals.
However, Picavet said, “It’s not a mass grave. It’s not hundreds.”
Park officials don’t know yet why the bodies were there instead of in a cemetery.
Researchers are still uncovering more remains, bottle pieces, and buttons. The artifacts are being catalogued and dated, and preliminary indications date the bones between the 1850s and 1880s.
“Archaeology is often the study of mysteries, but these mysteries are more profound than we were expecting,” Picavet said.