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Oregon Shakespeare Festival Makeover Turns Up Relics


Archaeologist Jeff LaLande examines a recently uncovered bottle found during the construction work in the Bricks area of OSF on Monday, Jan. 2, 2017.

Archaeologist Jeff LaLande examines a recently uncovered bottle found during the construction work in the Bricks area of OSF on Monday, Jan. 2, 2017.

Larry Stauth Jr./Ashland Daily Tidings

The archaeological dig during the renovation of “The Bricks” at Oregon Shakespeare Festival has turned up lots of old bashed-up bowls, windows, square nails, wire insulators, wash basins and bottles for beer, wine, medicines, lip balm and olives, most of it dating from the late 19th century when the site held a private house, the two-story Hotel Park and a café called Anne Hathaway’s.

OSF wanted to do the dig to make sure the project didn’t damage any relics of pioneer history or Native American habitation, but none were found, said archaeologist Jeff LaLande, who conducted the recent excavation of the Shasta village on Ashland Plaza, just 100 yards to the north.

LaLande did extensive “shake screening” of soil from a long trench being dug for water pipe, but found only two small flakes left from native chipping of obsidian and jasper tools. The artifacts from white settlers, he says, were found in an ash midden left from burning trash during construction of the Angus Bowmer Theater in 1970. It was covered by four feet of fill dirt.

Some concrete blocks from the old YMCA were found, as was a big water line made of wooden pipe wrapped in wire - and sandstone blocks that formed an east-west property line of OSF.

Read more at the Ashland Daily Tidings.

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