Gold Rush artifacts unearthed during SF transportation tunnel dig

While digging San Francisco’s multi-billion dollar transportation tunnel, workers unearthed an impressive number of gold rush artifacts, including clay opium pipes from a Chinese laundry, various French perfume bottles, a chipped porcelain chamber pot from an outhouse, and toothbrushes made of animal bones.

The nearly 70 gold rush artifacts date back to around the 1880s when Chinese, German, Italian and Swedish immigrants populated the area. The wide variety of artifacts discovered, from your basic essentials to newspaper articles and so on, provide a window to the gold rush days, so to speak, giving archaeologists insight into the culture of that age.

“It’s not often that you get a chance to stop for a moment and have a window into what used to be,” archaeologist James M. Allan, with William Self Associates, told the Associated Press. “It gives you pause.”

Allan went on to say that while the number of gold rush artifacts discovered so far is an already impressive amount, he expects that much more will be found as workers continue to dig San Francisco’s transportation tunnel.

“What is unusual is that we were able to identify the people and occupations of the early Gold Rush,” he said. “When the Gold Rush started in the 1850s, the miners came here and there was no place for them to live, so they lived in the sand dunes and then tent camps. We found the evidence: a wooden floor and a lot of bottles, barrels, a privy, leather shoes and boots.”

Source: Associated Press

[Image credit: AP]

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