The discovery started as a building project. Laura and Bridger Hill were digging up their yard when something unexpected appeared. So, they got closer, using their fingers to brush away the dirt to see what they’d unearthed. It was a row of rib bones. Carefully, they exposed the rest of a nearly complete animal skeleton. Even then, they still didn’t realize its significance. And it was months before they showed it to experts, who told them it wasn’t just any animal.
Lots of people decide to renovate their house or yard every year. Generally, they’re looking to refresh and update their homes. Sometimes, however, they’ll find themselves sitting on an important piece of the past. Digging up floors can mean digging up items that have lain buried for centuries or even millennia.
Sometimes the finds may be something small but valuable. Take the newspapers left in an Arizona basement over 60 years ago that, once discovered, provided a fascinating insight into the attitudes of the time. Generally, it’s hard to preserve newspapers without the right environment. If it wasn’t for the dry climate in Arizona, they’d have rotted away years ago. Instead, developers at the state’s Park Central shopping mall were able to offer them to experts to study.