BOSTON (CBS) — The city started an archaeological dig for Revolutionary War-era artifacts and also a Native American settlement at the Boston Common on Monday.

The Boston Landmarks Commission team is searching for a British camp from the war, and also the Native American settlement dating back more than 1,000 years. They want to clear the area of its historic relics before Eversource runs a utility line at the site.

There have been several digs at the Common in the past, each revealing hundreds of artifacts with stories to tell. The last time a dig took place at the site, located east of the Parkman Bandstand under a path that was built in the 1990s, was in the 1980s.

City archaeologists dig for artifacts at Boston Common on Monday. (Photo by Lana Jones/WBZ NewsRadio 1030)

City archaeologists dig for artifacts at Boston Common on Monday. (Photo by Lana Jones/WBZ NewsRadio 1030)

City Archaeologist Joe Bagley says the Native American settlement could be the oldest ever uncovered.

“It could be up to 10,000 years apart,” he told WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Lana Jones. “We have tested here before. We have physical evidence of artificats between 400 and 1,000 years old, but that was just a certain area of the site.

“We haven’t tested the whole thing and this is going to be more testing than was done in the past.”

Stopping the utility dig is a necessary step to preserve history.

“Blocking the access to the site in many ways is the same as destroying the site,” Bagley says, “Because if you can’t get to it, no one’s going to be able to use it. So in this case if there’s anything left, we’re going to remove it entirely before the line goes through.”

Artifacts collected from the site will be preserved at the Boston Archaeological Lab in West Roxbury. It’ll take a few days to examine the entire site.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Lana Jones reports

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