Oyster shells, horseshoes, broken glass and red clay.
To the average person those things may hold no significance or connection.
But to everyone digging at Archaeology Week, the artifacts might help to reveal the history of what is now Penn Park.
"There is a lot of history here dating back to the Civil War and even into the 1900s with the beautification of this area," said Patrick Bochy, museum educator with the York Heritage Trust. "But even with all of that history, this site has never been excavated before this week."
When the York Heritage Trust proposed Penn Park as a location for this year's York County Park's Archaeology Week for children, program coordinator Jeri Jones was on board.
"This is the first time a project has been done here, so these kids are making history," said Jeri Jones, program coordinator with York County Parks. "Their eyes got big when I told them that."
During the Civil War: Penn Park is believed to be the location of the former Civil War Union Hospital, which stood from 1862 until 1865.
By Tuesday afternoon, the 26 participating children, ages 9 to 12, discovered a variety of artifacts.
"I think the hospital was somewhere around here, because we found oyster shells," said 9-year-old Laura Fray.
"I think we're digging up a road because there's a lot of asphalt and clay," said Morgan Hoover, 10. "And I think we found pieces of a medicine bottle, because it was green glass."
The students will be at the site all week. They will investigate seven different 4 square foot grids, using mason trowels, magnets, paintbrushes and dust pans to look for artifacts.
Next they sift the piles of dirt collected to make sure nothing is missed, before listing and drawing pictures of everything they find.
"Archaeology is just not digging a hole in the ground; it is very controlled," said Jones.
The real thing: In addition to park employees, the dig is facilitated by a consulting archaeologist, Kevin Brown of York College, and several of his students.
"This is exactly how a dig would be," said Monica Rozelle, a senior history major at York College who was volunteering all week. "It's just that there are less adults here than normal."
All artifacts will be given to York City. The squares will be filled in and an analysis of everything will determine whether future digs will be held at Penn Park.
York County Park programs have been hosting Archaeology Weeks every summer since 1993, and the majority of their digs have been held at the P. Joseph Raab County Park in Seven Valleys, the site of an old iron mine.
-- Reach Chelsea at 505-5432 or cshank@yorkdis patch.com