Now this is a surprise! Pottery, glass, and nails were discovered by archaeologists at the site of an inn and tavern in Florence, Alabama. The team from the University of Alabama’s Office of Archaeological Research excavated the site, now called Pope’s Tavern Museum, and unearthed artifacts dated to the 1830s, and some are even estimated to predate Alabama’s admission as an official state in 1819:
During the Civil War, Union and Confederate forces occupied Florence at different times. Both sides used Pope’s Tavern as a hospital and command center, notes Florence-Lauderdale Tourism on its website.
Today, the museum houses a number of Civil War artifacts, including a rare Kennedy long rifle and a Confederate colonel’s uniform. Staff are currently preparing for an exhibition exploring slavery and cotton in the Florence area. Among the topics set to be covered is the role enslaved workers played in constructing some of the area’s significant buildings, including Wesleyan Hall at what’s now the University of North Alabama.
Excavations at the site began with measurement of the yard in May. Then, technicians scanned the ground for anomalies and used the data to determine where to dig test pits. In addition to the pottery and other small items, archaeologists found the remains of a brick structure that may have been a hearth, privy or outbuilding, reports the Associated Press (AP). Murphy says they’re conducting a microscopic analysis of the building materials.
Image credit: Jimmy Wayne via Flickr under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0