What started as a plan to build a parking garage ended in the discovery of more than 1,000 century-old bodies.
Builders testing the land at the University of Mississippi Medical Center made the surprising discovery and said none of the graves were marked. (Via The Clarion-Ledger)
The Clarion-Ledger reports the graves likely belong to patients from the Mississippi State Lunatic Asylum, which was open from 1855 to 1935. But some of them could also include people who died during the Civil War, tuberculosis victims and former slaves.
"Archaeologists have been studying grave sites at UMMC for some time now. Officials say the university will probably look at alternate sites for construction so they don't have to relocate the graves." (Via WLOX)
That's because the university says it can't afford to move them. USA Today reports it would cost $3,000 a grave, which would come out to around $3 million total.
The Daily Mail reports the discovery isn't completely out of the blue for university officials because they knew the asylum had a cemetery, it's just that no one knew exactly where it was.
University officials are now looking for other places to expand their campus.