Archaeologists have found the remains of an 18th century rectory used by French missionaries in what is now a park in a St. Louis suburb.
The team has been digging in the area around the original St. Ferdinand Church in Florissant. The church, a log building, was replaced by the still-standing St. Ferdinand Shrine in 1821.
During a three-year dig in Spanish Land Grant Park, archaeologists have uncovered about 10,000 items, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported. Most are fragments -- bones of animals and fish, pieces of pottery and glass, bullets and coins.
One find, a plate made in France has been pieced together to show a pattern of green arches.
"This is very significant," said Joe Harl, of the Archaeological Research Center of St. Louis. "This is the first time anyone has intensely studied an area surrounding a church in the St. Louis area."
Copyright 2006 by United Press International
Explore further: Ancient clay seals may shed light on biblical era