A human skull and three bones were unearthed on Berkeley Lab property on Monday. Photo: LBL Photo: Berkeley Lab
A human skull and three bones were unearthed on Berkeley Lab property on Monday. Photo: LBL

A human skull and three human bones were discovered on Berkeley Lab property Monday during some routine digging to clear a ditch.

According to a release put out by the Lab on Wednesday, a Lab facilities crew working to clear a drainage ditch in “very steep and brushy terrain” on Berkeley Lab’s southern perimeter discovered a skull and one bone around 1:30 p.m. Monday.

The Alameda County coroner’s office was called in and completed its search of the site on Tuesday after finding two more bones. The remains were found outside of Berkeley Lab’s fence line but on Berkeley Lab’s property. 

It is not known how long the remains were in the ditch, nor how old they are. Foul play is not suspected, according to the Lab’s statement, pending new information from the coroner’s office.

Jon Weiner, a spokesman for the Lab, said they were waiting to hear back from the coroner’s office as to any possible identification of the remains.

On Thursday, a spokeswoman for the coroner’s office said the analysis of the remains had not been completed.

Weiner could not recall any similar discoveries on the campus, at least in the time he has worked there.

Last month, construction workers uncovered human bones while digging a trench on Fourth Street near Hearst Avenue in West Berkeley as part of the redevelopment of Spenger’s Fish Grotto and adjoining parcels. Authorities said they appeared to be “pre-contact” Ohlone Indian remains.

In January 2014, a human skull was found in the area of Grizzly Peak Boulevard in Tilden Park. The skull was found surrounded by beads and lying on a paper plate.

Ohlone human remains found in ditch in West Berkeley (04.08.16)
Human skull found near Grizzly Peak in Tilden Park (01.02.14)

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Tracey Taylor is co-founder of Berkeleyside and co-founder and editorial director of Cityside, the nonprofit parent to Berkeleyside and The Oaklandside. Before launching Berkeleyside, Tracey wrote for...