PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — There was a lot of digging and sifting going on at the old Fort Pitt Blockhouse last weekend. Archeologists uncovered artifacts from the site of a future garden.

“Before we build the garden, we wanted to make a survey of the ground here to make sure we weren’t disturbing anything of real historical value,” says blockhouse curator Emily Weaver.

She says the 18th century fort later became a private residence.

“That’s why we find so many artifacts from the 19th century as well, because you had people living in this structure,” said Weaver. “Originally, it was a single family dwelling. But we know that by 1843 it was turned into a multi-family tenement.”

Archeologist Christine Davis displays the artifacts inside the fort.

“This is a little jug for the child,” she says. “And we know there were a lot of kids living here throughout that century.”

She says other pieces date back to the colonial era and before. The deeper they dug, the older the artifacts.

“We do know that Native Americans were here before that, so I’m thinking it could be right before the first fort.”

The fort was built 249 years ago. And the grounds hold many secrets.

“This is the oldest building in Pittsburgh,” the archeologist says. “All the ground around it is preserved. And to have the opportunity to look at this ground was really, really special.”

The pieces will be examined for a week or so, and then go on permanent exhibit at the blockhouse.

“It just serves as a reminder of those who came before us,” Weaver says. “And it’s always fascinating to see those reminders.”

Fort Pitt Block House Dig Turns Up Many Artifacts, And Visitors (8/17/13)
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