Unexpected Finds in Unexpected Places.
Imagine: you work for a construction company or a development firm, and all you want is to complete your next project as quickly and as cheaply as possible. Then, you find a mummified human toe. Or dinosaur bones. Or a king of England.
Strange and wonderful things are being dug up all the time around the planet, giving us glimpses into the past that, more often than not, we never expected to find. We all know about major archaeological digs in places like Egypt, China, and the Middle East, but sometimes, it’s the places we least expect that turn up the most fantastic finds.
This week’s news about a historic Revolutionary War ship being dug up in Virginia is just the next chapter in a saga of amazing discoveries at construction sites.
Keep reading to learn about some of the most monumental finds that workers never saw coming…
Revolutionary War-Era ship
It’s not called Old Town Alexandria for nothing. The historic suburb of Washington, D.C. is making headlines this week as the excavation continues on the remains of a 250-year-old ship that historians believe make up only one third of what was the hull of an 18th-century trading vessel or war ship.
The ship, which was buried hundreds of years ago as part of the process of “banking out,” or making new dry land on the water, was discovered during the construction for a hotel.
African Burial Ground
Although it was known to historians as the site of the 6.6-acre “Negros Burial Ground” dating back to the 17th century, the plot of land containing the remains of over 419 free and enslaved Africans was covered over and built upon throughout the 1800s. There was even an A.T. Stewart Company Store built on the site in 1846.
Then, in 1991, construction for a planned $275 million federal office uncovered the remains, leading to major protests and plans for conservation of the site. In 1992, it joined the National Register of Historic Places, and today it attracts tens of thousands of visitors each year.