Brickbat: Dig This


Dig site
Edward Karaa /

Two weeks after burying her husband last year, Pat Baker, 80, got a phone call from the contractor building a patio at their Goderich, Ontario, home. Workers had uncovered a skull. Police quickly figured out that the skull was about 130 years old, not a recent murder victim. But that triggered a provincial law requiring Baker to have an archaeological assessment of her property, at her own expense. It took more than a year and cost almost $70,000 to complete the study and repair all the damage to her yard from the dig. Fortunately, the study found nothing of archaeological significance. The bad news is that provincial law required her to properly bury the skull the contractor had found, at her own expense.

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  1. I would feel sorry for her, but she has a home in Florida. She could have stayed there and told Canada to extradite her.

    1. The US has an extradition treaty with Canada. That would not be particularly difficult.

      1. Extradite an 80 year old woman to Canada because she ran afoul of some petty, idiotic law*. Bold strategy, Cotton, let’s see if it pays off.

        *Describes the vast majority of laws.

  2. Highly recommended that you follow and read the link. Madness triggered by a busybody neighbor.

    1. It’s too bad the dig didn’t extend to his property.

      1. I like the cut of your jib.

    2. It’s Ontario.

  3. This kind of result is sure to encourage others who find items of archaeological interest to bring their findings to the proper authorities for analysis. This is a well-thought-out law. I’m sure it will result in additional important finds.

    1. *While planting rose bushes, finds some human-looking bones, part of a broadsword, and trinkets with Viking runes…Nervously looks around while thinking oh shit and throwing all the dirt back.*

      1. Those runes you threw back better not have been the secrets to Oak Island!

        1. It’s Crown time.

  4. She got off easy – at least it wasn’t a Northern Spotted Owl nest found on her property.

    1. That’s too bad. Those things are tasty.

  5. This law is an Archaeologist Enrichment Act. No one (or very few) people will vote on the basis of getting screwed over by the Archaeologist Enrichment Act. But special interests, AKA “concentrated benefits, diffuse costs” will mean that the Archaeologist Enrichment Act will stay on the books forever!

    Jobless teenaged Native Americans on “their” tribal lands can’t go and collect fossils to sell, on “their” lands, really owned by Government Almighty USA, without 12,000,000 PhD degrees in paleontology. So, for lack of degreed paleontologists and funding, the fossils, instead, weather out into sand, and wash towards the sea.

    Thank You Government Almighty, can I have another?

    1. Similarly, in Alaska industry must comply with all sort of regs to protect whales, so the natives can kill them (the whales).

      Of course, natives vs. whales poses intersectionality challenges for modern progressives.

  6. “Human skull? Oh, not at all. That’s Rover’s chew bone.”

  7. The reporter has not been able to contact the neighbor who filed the original complaint. Emails and phone calls have not been returned. Two in-person visits did not find anyone at home, but the reporters did notice that mail is piling up.
    No one seems to have seen the neighbor since the hole was filled in – – – – – –

    1. That would be justice, at its poetic best.

  8. Oh Canada!

  9. Cool! Just in time for halloween!

  10. This sort of thing is a scam. The people who perform the archaeological studies give contractors things to “find”, which then trigger the expensive studies. The contractors get kickbacks. It happens in the US all the time, particularly with Native American artifacts.

  11. I agree!!! You can discuss with other side. That’s how you learn and expand your view points.…

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