Skull Found On Atwood House Museum Grounds

By: Tim Wood

Topics: Local History

The Chatham Historical Society is seeking community preservation funds to restore the foundation of the antique Atwood House is FILE PHOTO

CHATHAM -- A human skull thought to be more than 100 years old was found by landscapers on the grounds of the Atwood House Museum Friday morning.

Workers from Luciano's Landscaping were preparing the back lawn of the Stage Harbor Road museum, owned by the Chatham Historical Society, for the winter when they came across the partially buried skull, according to museum Executive Director Danielle Jeanloz.

The Chatham police were called at 11:41 a.m. and secured the scene until state police and medical examiners arrived  Chatham Police Lt. Michael Anderson said a state anthropologist was able to determine, from a photograph, that the skull was more than 100 years old. If the skull was less than 100 years old, it would have been a crime scene, he said.  Because it was more than a century old, it is considered an archeological site.

The skull was taken to a state medical examiner laboratory for further testing and dating. No other bones were found, Anderson said.

It was not known if the skull was Native American.  A skull and some bones found not far away on Cross Street this summer was determined to be Native American, he said.  Those remains were found at the base of a tree on a site where a foundation was being excavated, Anderson said.