LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - Crews doing excavation work in downtown Little Rock made an unusual find this week: a military sword possibly dating to the early 1800s.
Workers are excavating ground on Markham Street downtown for the construction of a new parking deck. The site once housed the Ashley mansion, built around 1820 by the prominent lawyer and U.S. Sen. Chester Ashley.
Clark Construction representatives turned over the sword to the Historic Arkansas Museum on Tuesday. Museum chief curator Swannee Bennett says the curved sword is likely of American or European origin.
Bennett tells the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette that the soil-encrusted sword will undergo delicate testing to better determine its age.
Bennett says Union forces occupied the mansion during the Civil War after taking control of Little Rock in September 1863.
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