Archaeologists have unearthed artifacts in Fort Lauderdale that are more than 150 years old, which could be evidence of the city’s third namesake fort, experts said.
Lead musket balls, a kaolin clay pipe fragment and buttons from soldiers' and sailors' uniforms are among the 100 items discovered while digging to make a city parking lot.
Robert S. Carr, executive director of Archaeological and Historical Conservancy Inc. of Davie, is leading a team digging the site.
"We really didn't expect to necessarily find anything because this park has been so developed over the last 50 or 60 years with parking lots and bathrooms," Carr said.
He said confirming the fort's location is of great importance and that it may be eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places.
"It is exciting, during the 100th anniversary of the city, to find its namesake," said Carr, who hopes to dig up wooden remains of the fort's foundation. "It's the most significant find in Broward County and Fort Lauderdale, and one of the most significant finds in the Seminole Wars era."
Officials warned that extra security will guard the dig, and anyone who disturbs it could face felony charges.
"The value here is not about dollar value, this is historic value," Carr said. "These are things that are very important to the history of South Florida and the state of Florida as well."