BETHUNE, Sask.—A pipeline project near Bethune, Sask., has turned into an archeological dig.
A week ago, a contractor with SaskEnergy subsidiary TransGas was digging a trench for a new gas pipeline when he uncovered some bone fragments.
SaskEnergy spokesman Casey MacLeod says that’s not unusual in their line of work.
But usually it ends up being animal bones.
This time, however, archeologists from Golder Associates determined that the remains are human, and pre-date European contact.
RCMP estimates the bones are over one thousand years old.
“This is definitely a first for us,” says MacLeod.
Any pipeline work in the area has been shut down while local First Nations, the First Nations University of Canada, and an archeologist with the province have all been brought in to investigate.
They’re now going to spend the next four or five days looking for other artifacts in the area.
“We are able to continue to do some work down the line, outside of the dig area, but other than that, it takes as long as it takes,” says MacLeod.