Kansas City, Mo. Archaeologists must always be present when construction is underway on land owned by the Missouri Department of Transportation. This permits them to protect cultural resources.
Burns & McDonnell’s cultural resource specialists made a few discoveries as construction started along Washington Street and 5th Street as part the Buck O’Neil Bridge Replacement Project.
Andrew Gottsfield, senior specialist for cultural resources at Burns & McDonnell was present when the team made a shocking discovery.
He said that they discovered it to be native soil when digging a hole in it. “Then we dug another hole in the basement and found a pile brick. So we connected the dots, found the foundation, and came around,” he added. Gottsfield.
The team believes that the foundation is from an old hotel dating back to the 19th century.
Gottsfield explained that the foundation led to the discovery and preservation of many other important artifacts.
Gottsfield explained that “we found what we believe to be many privates, which is outbuildings. Outbuildings for archaeologists or urban archeology are essential because people would put their trash in the private.”
You could find bottles, jars and soap holders as well as combs, glasses, and even glasses. They found artifacts dating back hundreds of decades.
The group concluded that the hotel was most likely intended for working-class individuals.
“This is important because we can document the lives of people who are not documented in history. The rich merchants and other wealthy people are responsible for most of history. Gottsfield explained that this allows us to see the daily life of those involved in building Kansas City.
To be documented and cleaned up, the artifacts are being returned to the laboratory of cultural resources specialists. Some of the pieces could be donated to museums or displayed for MoDOT.
Officials will send some pieces to a facility to allow other people to use them if they find similar sites that could be used to compare the artifacts.
This story was first reported by Daisha Jones from KSHB.