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Spanish coins from 1800s found in dig near San Gabriel Mission

February 2, 2012 |  6:22 pm


The government agency building a new rail system announced Thursday that archeologists have found thousands of historic artifacts while excavating in the railroad right of way near San Gabriel Mission.

According to the Alameda Corridor-East Construction Authority, they found coins depicting King Ferdinand VII of Spain as well as pieces of antique pottery, glass beads and a medallion. The artifacts might be connected to the mission, which was founded in 1771. Officials said they appear to date to the 1800s.

The excavation is part of the ongoing preparatory work prior to the construction of the San Gabriel trench grade separation project set to begin later this year.

The 2.2-mile San Gabriel trench grade separation project will result in the lowering of a 1.4-mile section of Union Pacific railroad track in a trench through San Gabriel with bridges constructed at Ramona Street, Mission Road, Del Mar Avenue and San Gabriel Boulevard, allowing vehicles and pedestrians to pass over the tracks.

Once completed, the grade separation project will eliminate congestion, emissions from idling vehicles, noise from train warning horns and bells, delays for emergency responders and the potential for deadly crossing collisions.


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--Gary Friedman

Photo:  Deanna Jones screens for artifacts from the early 19th century during an excavation at a railroad site near San Gabriel Mission on Feb. 2, 2012. Gary Friedman / Los Angeles Times