PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The clock is ticking for hundreds of remains discovered at an Old City construction site last month.
Construction crews found the remains on the site of a future apartment building at 218 Arch St. in early March.
Archaeologists from Rutgers University in Camden and volunteers at the Mütter Museum in Philadelphia offered to analyze the remains and bury them in a proper setting.
Mütter Museum curator Anna Dhody gave Eyewitness News an exclusive tour of the operation.
“They’re a physical representation of our history and they are our ancestors and we want to do right by them,” Dhody said.
Unfortunately, Dhody says the majority of the remains are in storage containers in South Philadelphia, and she needs money before they can be moved. The Mütter Museum has launched a campaign to raise $20,000 to pay for moving costs and analysis at the lab in Camden.
“Imagine this is an intact coffin, filled with dirt and human remains, they are over 300 to 400 pounds and they’re also very delicate,” she said.
As of this writing, the project has $3,400 in donations, but Dhody wants the bodies to be moved to a lab as soon as possible for analysis.
“Even $5, $10, $15, everything counts. We’re really hoping people find this interesting,” she said.
After analysis, the bodies will be buried in Mount Moriah Cemetery in Philadelphia, the location where they were supposed to be moved by 1860.
If you would like to donate to the project, click here.