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Transbay Terminal Excavation Unearths 19th Century Life in SF

| December 2, 2011
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Hand-painted porcelain dolls, animal bone toothbrushes and antique medicinal bottles at the new Transbay Archeology Exhibit open a window into 19th-century daily life in San Francisco.

The artifacts are from an archeological excavation at Minna and Natoma streets where the new Transbay Transit Center is being built.

“It’s a chance to see the material parts of history,” said archeologist and Project Director Paul Farnsworth.

As the city planned the new Transbay Terminal a team of archeologists looked for spots underground that were likely to reveal city life.

A teapot and an animal comb excavated from a Chinese laundry on Minna St. lie neatly together in the exhibit.

“It’s amazing to see everything cleaned up, without the dirt,” said Farnsworth.

The exhibit is on display in the lobby of 201 Mission St. through the end of January 2012.

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