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Photos: Hurricane Michael Toppled Over Trees and Uprooted 19th Century Artifacts

Hurricane 19th Century Artifacts
(Image: © Rhonda Kimbrough)

Giant rootballs

Hurricane 19th Century Artifacts

(Image credit: Rhonda Kimbrough)

Hurricane Michael, a category 5 storm, hit Florida last October with vengeance. It uprooted around a hundred trees at Fort Gadsden. But by doing so, it also exposed artifacts tangled up in their giant rootballs. The artifacts date back to the early 19th century, when the British fort was occupied by maroons, a community of freed slaves. Here, Andrea Repp, Forest Service archaeologist, measures the holes created by the uprooting of large pine trees in the area. [Read more about the discovery]

Excavating soil

Andrea Repp, Forest Service Archeologist, measures the holes created by the uprooting of large pine trees in the area.

(Image credit: Rhonda Kimbrough)

A crew member excavates the soil from an upturned tree, adjacent to the British Fort citadel. The team is analyzing the rootballs for artifacts that were buried beneath the soil throughout the last couple hundred years.

Removing soil

Hurricane 19th Century Artifacts

(Image credit: Rhonda Kimbrough)

Paleowest archeologists Julie Duggins and Sunshine Thomas, and Southeast Archaeology Foundation volunteer Janet Bard remove soil from a rootball.

Cleared rootballs

Hurricane 19th Century Artifacts

(Image credit: Rhonda Kimbrough)

A rootball after some areas of the soil were removed and screened for artifacts.

Sifting soil

Hurricane 19th Century Artifacts

(Image credit: Rhonda Kimbrough)

A crew member dumps excavated soil onto screens, that archaeologists and volunteers use to sift through and recover artifacts.

Ceramic sherd

Hurricane 19th Century Artifacts

(Image credit: Rhonda Kimbrough)

The team discovered many artifacts in the upturned rootballs, including ammunition and ceramics. Here, the storm exposed a whiteware ceramic sherd.

Earthenware sherd

The giant rootballs revealed pieces of ceramics, such as this earthenware sherd, left over from the diverse cultures that lived together at the fort.

(Image credit: Rhonda Kimbrough)

The giant rootballs revealed pieces of ceramics, such as this earthenware sherd, left over from the diverse cultures that lived together at the fort.