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Archaeologists make 'blockbuster discovery’ at George Washington’s Mount Vernon estate

Archaeologists make 'blockbuster discovery’ at George Washington’s Mount Vernon estate

The 'blockbuster discovery’ at George Washington’s estate comes just two months after another find

Archaeologists have made an 'astonishing' discovery at George Washington’s Mount Vernon estate, just two months after another find.

The former residence of the US' first ever president has been in the headlines recently thanks to a recent find at the grand home in Virgina.

Archaeologists at the site have discovered dozens of glass jars filled with fruit preserves in the cellar of the house.

In fact, experts believe they 'likely haven’t seen the light of day since before the American Revolution'.

29 of the 35 bottles discovered remain intact, while the others all contain either cherries, gooseberries or currants.

The 'blockbuster discovery' was detailed on Friday. (Mount Vernon Ladiesâ Association)
The 'blockbuster discovery' was detailed on Friday. (Mount Vernon Ladiesâ Association)

Mount Vernon President & CEO Doug Bradburn said: "Never in our wildest dreams did we imagine this spectacular archaeological discovery.

"We were ecstatic last month to uncover two fully intact 18th-century bottles containing biological matter. Now we know those bottles were just the beginning of this blockbuster discovery. To our knowledge, this is an unprecedented find and nothing of this scale and significance has ever been excavated in North America."

He added: "We now possess a bounty of artifacts and matter to analyze that may provide a powerful glimpse into the origins of our nation, and we are crossing our fingers that the cherry pits discovered will be viable for future germination. It's so appropriate that these bottles have been unearthed shortly before the 250th anniversary of the United States."

The amazing discovery comes just two months after two bottles were found that contained a 'mysterious liquid'.

It's believed the bottles were originally filled with cherries, as they were placed in the ground to refrigerate food between 1758 and 1766.

The bottles are very old. (Mount Vernon Ladiesâ Association)
The bottles are very old. (Mount Vernon Ladiesâ Association)

Mount Vernon Principal Archaeologist Jason Boroughs added: "These extraordinary discoveries continue to astonish us. These perfectly preserved fruits picked and prepared more than 250 years ago provide an incredibly rare opportunity to contribute to our knowledge of the 18th-century environment, plantation foodways, and the origins of American cuisine.

"The bottles and contents are a testament to the knowledge and skill of the enslaved people who managed the food preparations from tree to table, including Doll, the cook brought to Mount Vernon by Martha Washington in 1759 and charged with oversight of the estate's kitchen."

Meanwhile, Bradburn concluded: "This historic discovery comes at the beginning of our transformational $40 million Mansion Revitalization Project to strengthen and restore the home of the nation's first president so that it will be stronger than ever when we celebrate America's 250th birthday in 2026. This historic preservation project is Mount Vernon's birthday gift to America."

Featured Image Credit: Gwengoat/Getty Images/Mount Vernon Ladiesâ Association

Topics: History