A Sarnia couple who set out to build a fence dug up more than they bargained for recently when they unearthed a 400-year-old skeleton and got stuck with a $5,000 bill from the province.
The archeological misadventure began two weeks ago when Ken Campbell came across some bones while digging post holes in their backyard.
He put them aside, thinking they must have belonged to an animal. The following week, his wife, Nicole Sauve, asked about the bones, which sat unceremoniously atop a bucket of earth
“I said, ‘They’re not animal bones, Ken. Let’s dig some more and see what we can find,’ ”she said.
What they found was the rest of the skeleton of an aboriginal woman.
The OPP, who taped off the couple’s backyard, called in forensic anthropologist Michael Spence to examine the site.
Spence told the Star that the skeleton was that of a woman who was about 24 years old when she died, probably in the late 1500s or early 1600s.
The condition of her teeth led him to suspect she was part of hunting, gathering and fishing society.
The couple lives by the Blue Water Bridge, an area that once was the centre of an Ojibwa trade network. Spence said the woman is probably a descendant of those merchants.