Jan 18, 2019 | Updated: 03:16 PM EST

Archaeologists Discovered 19th Century Trash in Iowa Developing Site

May 10, 2017 04:19 AM EDT


An archaeologist from the University of Iowa discovered a city trash pit containing 30,000 artefacts believed to be dated back in the 19th century. This was discovered after a construction site at Davenport contacted him for an emergency excavation.

In an article published in Archaeology.org, John Hedden of the University of Iowa and his team unearthed what is believed to be a pit containing 30,000 artefacts in the 19th century. These artefacts, all from working-class homes, varies from chamber pot, animal bones, broken china, shoe soles, pipes, medicine, liquor bottles, and an inkwell.

In an article published in Global Gazette, Hedden said that he was astounded as they dug into the city trash pit in Iowa. "You never see this dense (amount of material in) an early deposit, he said.

Before the excavation happened, a Minneapolis developer was constructing a five-story apartment complex on the site of the former Buesing Automative company in Iowa. Because the federal money was involved in financing the project, the developer is required to tap an archaeologist to have an archaeological survey.

Furthermore, he explained that back in the early nineteenth century in Iowa, the site that was located along Western Avenue used to be a swampy area deemed unsuitable for development of any establishment. It is theorised it is the start of the residents using the area as a local dumping ground.

Hedden said that adding unsanitary conditions in the neighbourhood of Iowa, a ditch was constructed in the middle of the Harrison Street back in 1839. This was used to carry water to the river.

Officials of Davenport originally passed an ordinance that made residents of Iowa illegal to throw any unnecessary and rotten materials to the public spaces, streets, and alleyways. Stated in the ordinance that is illegal to be thrown away are manure, spoiled meat, animals and their entrails, and decayed vegetables.

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