In one of San Francisco’s oldest neighborhoods, the Presidio, archaeologists are working in the parade grounds just 75 yards from the historic officer’s quarters.

“The first 70 years of people living here is quite a bit of a mystery,” said Presidio archaeologist Kari Jones, who is leading the excavation.

The crew is seeking evidence of the wall, which they hope will provide the pivotal waypoint to identifying the fortress’s layout, a network of adobe buildings that once housed the Presidio’s original Spanish soldiers and their families.

Researchers expect this project to take decades to fully complete.

“We’re patient,” Jones said, “because we know over time, all these small finds accumulate into bigger, richer, larger portraits of life.”

So far, bits of Presidio life has been unearthed in this summer’s excavations: pieces of terra cotta roof tiles, ceramics, coins, and animal bones. The artifacts are cataloged and stored in the shelves of a special room kept at bone-chilling temperatures. They will go on public display when the newly-restored Presidio Officers Club reopens in September.

Read More: Archaeologists at Work in One of San Francisco’s Oldest Neighborhoods


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