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Archaeologists may have solved Magnolia Mound mystery

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BATON ROUGE - Archaeologists say they're about 55 percent sure a brick structure recently unearthed at Magnolia Mound was a storage facility of some kind.

The researchers said they found a bone button, a butchered piece of pig bone, glass and ceramics at the site, then used a process of elimination to try and figure out what it wasn't.

"We looked at the artifacts, and we looked at features such as the builders trench and the types of bricks that were used and finally concluded with sort of an exclusionary guess that this was a storage facility of some sort dating around 1900 give or take," said archaeologist Malcolm Shuman.

The archaeologists also found evidence to believe that the structure was made of wood and featured a slate roof and glass windows. They said the evidence suggests the building burned down at some point, but they aren't exactly sure when.

Shuman says the answer to the mystery may be in someone's home.

"People have found things in attics they've cleaned out, where they find an old diary or old papers dating from 100 to 200 years ago. This happens frequently. It's unsystematic, but you never can tell," he said.

Magnolia Mound officials say they plan to preserve the dig site.

"We've always known how important this site was and how continually occupied it was, but we actually found out that it was always being used new people were adding different layers to our history," said Magnolia Mound director John Sykes.

The brick structure was discovered by a construction crew during digging for a new visitors center.


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