It may look like a bunch of stuff scattered on a table, but these pieces of the past date back hundreds of years.
They were found on Washington and Lee's campus just last week.
Crews had started work on Robinson Hall, when members of the school's historic preservation committee stopped by.
"I expected to go over take a look maybe pick up a few pieces of white wear and nails and say thank you, but instead everywhere you looked there a brass button, or a machine cut nail, or a bone-tooth brush," says W&L Associate Professor of Anthropology Alison Bell.
An anthropologist's dream that just kept on giving.
"We dug down just 2.5 inches and it was absolutely packed with things dating from 1800 to 1840," says Bell.
And, a rainy day isn't keep the discovery from moving forward.
Instead students are working inside, some painstakingly washing artifacts.
While others bag and label what's left.
No stone is left unturned, in fact- these bags of soil will also be screened and searched.
Explains Bell, "You don't get many chances to see what was going on a campus in 1804 which is what we're looking at."
Robinson Hall dates back to 1841, but before that it was the site of Graham Hall which stood there from 1804 to 1835.
The group says the discovery is unique and a significant look back.
"Pretty much everywhere you go in this part of Virginia there's some sort of human habitation and important evidence of that -you know the life ways of people from the past," explains
Don Gaylord, W&L Staff Archaeologist/Anthropology Instructor.
That past will help the future -as W&L students will have the opportunity to dig on the site in 2014 and maybe the year after that.