A chance to play in the dirt. It's something kids love. Clifton Huston has a childlike enthusiasm about what was found in the dirt on the grounds of the Stafford County Courthouse.
He is an archeologist with Dominion Engineering Associates. He had discovered the foundation of the original Stafford Courthouse built in 1783.
"This is a gigantic deal because there are very few courthouses of this time period left - even the foundations," says Huston. "Most have been destroyed by development over the last 100 years."
What helped them find it was a photograph taken in 1909 from what is now the intersection of Courthouse Road and Jefferson Davis Highway. The old courthouse was likely frequented by George Washington himself.
"As a surveyor, he would often be called into court to mediate land disputes, so there's a very high certainty that George Washington could have been in this courthouse," Huston says.
Many of the most interesting artifacts were found inside what is called a builder's trench.
"While you're building the wall, any artifacts that fall inside this trench are from the time you're building the wall," says Huston. "It gets covered up and it becomes in effect - a sealed time capsule."
The investigation will help shape the design of a pedestrian plaza on the site.