A Winnipeg city work crew has unearthed a human skull believed to be more than 100 years old.

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This is one piece of a skull unearthed by city work crews in Winnipeg on Wednesday. (Submitted photo)

The backhoe struck a coffin Wednesday while digging a trench near the St. Boniface Cathedral and cemetery on Tache Avenue.

A photo given to CBC News shows pieces of the skull, which archeologist Brian Smith said were those of a child or teen buried about 125 years ago.

Smith said police and the province's chief medical examiner were notified before he was asked to assess the situation on behalf of the provincial Historic Research Branch.

He said the skull will be returned to the grave, adding: "We've arranged with the work crew that they'll avoid it, and they're actually going to change some of the locations of the water pipes so this grave isn't disturbed further."

A spokesperson for the Archdiocese of St. Boniface said the bones may be from an old grave in its cemetery, which used to be much bigger.