By Wilder Davies
October 26, 2018

Construction workers often uncover relics from the past while they work. But, while some may find a precious stash of Roman coins, others stumble upon a bucket’s worth of human teeth.

On Tuesday, workers in the process of renovating the historic T.B. Converse Building in downtown Valdosta, Georgia were greeted with a macabre surprise when they unearthed roughly 1,000 teeth from behind a wall on the building’s second floor.

Images of the discovery circulated on social media on Thursday, depicting a considerable pile of molars, incisors and cuspids scattered across the ground.

According to a report in the Valdosta Daily Times, the T.B. Converse building was constructed in 1900. Its original occupant was Dr. Clarence Whittington, a dentist. Not much is known as to why the teeth of numerous patients were stashed behind the walls, but Ellen Hill, Valdosta Main Street director, said that Valdosta is not the first town in Georgia to have discovered a trove of teeth interred in the walls of a historic building, as Greensboro and Carrolton have found the same.

“I’m not sure if it was a common practice between dentists at that time, but it’s very strange that there were two other people that said, ‘Hey, we’ve had that happen, too,’” she said.

The Lowndes County Historical Society expressed interest in obtaining the teeth, but workers had disposed of them soon after their discovery.

Write to Wilder Davies at wilder.davies@time.com.

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