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St. Augustine archaeology dig uncovers prehistoric site

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Updated: 8/07/2013 12:16 am
ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. -- In a plot of land that sits just off of May Street, a team of archaeologists was busy excavating for clues on Tuesday.

City archaeologist Carl Halbirt says they've found evidence of a settlement that predates even St. Augustine's founding in 1565.

"We're not finding any later occupation here, so that means this is more or less a pristine prehistoric site. It has not been touched by subsequent European occupation," said Halbirt.

Richard Siedler's family will begin building their home on the site in about a year. He was part of Halbirt's five-person team.

"It's pretty cool. I'm learning a lot about where we're settling," said Siedler.

Halbirt and his team found everything from hundreds of pounds of oyster and clam shells and tiny fish bones, to deer and even turtle bones. He says these finds are likely representative of the occupiers' diet.

"If you can understand the soil, you can understand archeology," said Halbirt.

Halbirt says it is likely this was the site of an indigenous population. They've even stumbled upon a prehistoric well, which Halbirt says he's never seen before.

"It's quite large. Five feet in diameter, it goes down into water table," said Halbirt.

Halbirt's team spent most of the day weighing and measuring their finds.

The team will be excavating for about a week. They will then keep a record of every piece they find in order document yet another piece of the nation's oldest city.
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