[OR_Archaeology] 19th Century structure unearthed at Oregon Institute of Marine Biology
Susan.White at state.or.us
Mon Aug 18 11:42:17 PDT 2008
(from KCBY news in Coos Bay; web link = http://www.kcby.com/news/27043214.html )
CHARLESTON, Ore. - What began as a three-inch wide hole in the cement in the parking lot of the Oregon Institute of Marine Biology, has turned into a huge hole in the ground.
At the end of July, staff at OIMB made the discovery, not thinking much of it.
"We took a probe down into the hole to see what was down there. Originally we thought that it was a broken water-line," said OIMB contractor Steve Jones
Jones and other staff members say they weren't expecting to find what came next.
"We think it's probably some sort of boardwalk or dock. We really didn't have any idea that anything like this was under here. But this is a very old site that has been used for a number of things over the years," said OIMB Director Craig Young.
Young says after discovering the wood and large square nails, they enlisted the help of the Coos Historical and Maritime Museum, the BLM and State Parks Department.
They then contacted University of Oregon archaeologist Tom Connelly and his team to get to the bottom of things.
"We initially, when we ran into wood and noticed that there were large, square nails in that wood, we knew it had to be something historical and old," said Young.
Archaeologists say the structure dates back to the late 19th century but could have been exposed up until the mid-1920s.
They're trying to find someone who was living during that time to help them figure out what the structure was.
While initial findings lead archaeologists to believe it may be a dock or boardwalk, nothing is for certain at this point.
As for the structure, Young says they're planning on keeping a part of it to be part of a future display.
It could take many more weeks to completely unearth the structure before the parking lot can go back to its original state.
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