Archaeologists Dig at Canton House Built in 1725, Hoping to Shine Light on History

The Tilden House in Canton is the site of an archaeological dig as historians hope to learn about life hundreds of years ago in Massachusetts

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History is all around if you look hard enough.

At the Tilden House in Canton, Massachusetts, archaeologists are digging into the past to learn about life hundreds of years ago.

"You're getting a real chance to see the fabric of how people lived," said Canton historian George Comeau.

The Tilden House was built in 1725, and archeologists have now focused their attention on an addition from 1850 that had been used as a kitchen.

"Most of the materials, particularly the shoes, have been found concentrated on north end," said John Kelly of Public Archaeology Laboratory.

The Canton Historical Society has been working to restore this home for more than two decades. And when floor boards were recently taken up, a number of things were discovered, including a lot of shoes. In those days, people would place them under the floor to keep evil spirits away.

"These were kind of the things that instigated everything," Kelly said of the shoes found at the site.

Other items have been discovered, as well.

"A lot of ceramic materials from the 19th century," he said. "Cups and plates, saucers, some of them have decoration on them."

The soil is taken out of the house in buckets, with volunteers helping to screen the dirt while keeping an eye out for potential artifacts.

"The things that we're finding are very common household goods. It's spoons, it's plates, but it's telling us that these people lived a certain lifestyle, and they had a certain amount of money to buy these items," Comeau said.

It'll take a bit to examine and understand all material that's been gathered. But when they're done, historians hope to have a better understanding of the past and the people who lived at the Tilden House.

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