Archeologists dig for pieces of history in Alexandria

The search is on at a site near Montgomery and Columbus streets in Alexandria for pieces of history.

Before new homes can be constructed, archeologists are making sure historic artifacts don't get lost. Several men from Thunderbird Archaeology have spent a week at the latest site.

They carefully sift through the dirt with hopes of finding something that can give a peek into another period of time.

"This area is rich in archaelogical resources,” said Jeremy Smith, an associate archaeologist. "Dating back from Paleo-Indian...settling in this area 10, 12,000 BC all the way up until through the civil war into the 20th century."

Thunderbird Archaeology was hired by a developer rebuilding five city blocks in Old Town Alexandria.

"We'll look for artifacts, and from that information we can date the site," Smith explained.

The dig begins with a simple hole in the ground. If they think they're on to something, they continue to dig.

"We'll open up larger areas with these three by three squares, and we'll examine the soils. We'll look for artifact," Smith continued.

From time to time a gem is discovered.

Smith showed ABC7 a bullet he feels confident is from the Civil War era. The bullet was documented, and the dig continued.

"Looking at the artifacts they leave behind you can see how they lived and something that might not have been written in a book," Smith added. "I see it as giving a voice to the voiceless. It's recording history that wasn't previously known."