The world’s oldest time capsule, buried by Samuel Adams and Paul Revere over two centuries ago, was recently unearthed in Boston. The box-shaped capsule was discovered in a cornerstone of the Massachusetts State house, yesterday, on December 12th, 2014.
According to CNN affiliate WBZ, the antique was uncovered by workers who were repairing a water leak in the structure. Immediately following the discovery, they called in a local expert from the Museum of Fine Arts to chisel the copper, cigar box-sized capsule free from the stone and plaster surrounding it.
On Thursday, state officials revealed what they believed to be contained in the box, based on several notes in their possession: “…a Paul Revere plate, papers, and coins from the 1600s.” However, its actual contents will not be revealed until sometime next week. In the meantime, it will be x-rayed and thoroughly examined by experts.
The Revolutionary-era duo most likely left the capsule behind in 1795 (when the building was first being constructed), as a lasting reminder to future generations about what they had accomplished up until that point. To this day, the patriotic adventurers are iconic figures in American history – the embodiment of freedom and liberty.
But, this is not the first time the capsule was unearthed. Back in 1855, it was dug up during emergency repairs to the State house. Following its excavation, however, it was secured in its original location – with an extra few coins tossed in. Both events – in 1795, and in 1855 – were recorded in detail.
In light of its rediscovery, officials are deciding whether or not the box should be reinstated and whether new items should be added to it before its reburied. Had it not been for the repairs on the statehouse building, the artifact would most likely have been forgotten or lost in history.
Earlier this year, workers also uncovered another time capsule while doing restoration work in the old State House, which currently functions as a historical museum. The artifact, hailing from 1901, was hidden under a lion and unicorn statue, and contained letters, documents and photographs in mint condition.