It's a mystery in Mishawaka. Artifacts, more than 100 years old were unearthed by landscapers Tuesday on the edge of the city near University Drive and Fir Road.
An Indiana Conservation Officer on scene quickly identified the objects as bones and cement stones.
Archaeologists say the bones found aren't human and the monuments found date back to before 1870 making all these finds, artifacts.
"People are finding things in their yards all the time," said South Bend Archaeologist and IUSB Professor Jay Vanderveen. “The people doing some landscaping found something that looked like a headstone and some bones.”
Instinct and observation told these researchers the bones didn't look like human remains.
“The bones have been cut and there's knife marks on it, when we see that like a bone saw, that’s something that a butcher would use," said Jonathan Boyd, an Indiana Conservation Officer with the Department of Natural Resources.
"Most likely it's a cow bone, there's a long and part of rib bones," Vanderveen said.
So now the questions lie in the monuments – Vanderveen can't decipher the stones just yet.
"The first one appears to be a Bible,” he said. “That’s very common when it comes to headstones. The second could be a dove, a flame, I’m going to Google this and see what I find."
The three cement shaped objects could be old tombstones, garden décor or family markers that date back to pre-1870 … that's when officials believe this piece of land was a family farm.
There’s still a bigger piece of the stone in the ground and Vanderveen said more excavation is needed.
"This will be preserved until we can do a little more digging just to see to be sure there is not a grave or anything else," Vanderveen said.
The Department of Natural Resources in Indianapolis is helping with this investigation, trying to pinpoint who lived on that plot of land around the 1800s.
The landscapers followed perfect protocol Tuesday when they unearthed these objects … they called the DNR and police. In cases like this it could be a murder case or missing person case so it's important to have the authorities handle these situations.
And for the curious, beware … Anyone caught trespassing at the site could be charged. Conservation Officers note it is illegal to dig for artifacts.