Missouri DOT archaeologists find colonial artifacts near Poplar Street Bridge in St. Louis

| April 2, 2014

MoDOT archaeologists uncovered a piece of a ceramic bowl, among other artifacts, near the Poplar Street Bridge in St. Louis. (Photo Credit: Stephanie Zimmerman | St. Louis Public Radio)

MoDOT archaeologists uncovered a piece of a ceramic bowl, among other artifacts, near the Poplar Street Bridge in St. Louis. (Photo Credit: Stephanie Zimmerman | St. Louis Public Radio)

What do French settlers have in common with St. Louis’ Poplar Street Bridge?

Location, for one.

Archaeologists with the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) have uncovered artifacts dating back to 1764, when French settlers founded the city, near the bridge, St. Louis Public Radio reports.

The archaeologists made the discovery while planning for new construction on the interstate ramps at the site. The report notes that the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 requires the agency to conduct an archaeological investigation before starting construction.

Related: Crews uncover slew of historical artifacts in construction of Britain’s Crossrail commuter line

The archaeologists found only a few items, including a piece of a ceramic bowl and some pieces of animal bone, but that could be enough to lead to further investigation. The team plans to conduct more surveys in the area this summer.

In addition to the artifacts, the archaeologists found physical evidence of some colonial homes. One home site contained documentation of ownership by prominent figures in St. Louis history, such as Philip Riviére. Another home contained the ceramic bowl piece.

To see more photos of the archaeological dig site, visit news.stlpublicradio.org.

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