There has been a very interesting historical and archaeological discovery recently at the University of Virginia: a fireplace hearth, used for chemistry classes, discovered behind a wall of the UVA rotunda! It seems to date from the era in which Thomas Jefferson originally founded the university. You’ll have to click twice through to get the full article, but thanks to First Night History for putting it on their blog.

First Night History

rotundaThe University of Virginia’s Rotunda still has its secrets, as conservators are discovering amid the building’s ongoing two-year renovation.

One of them is a chemical hearth, part of an early science classroom. It had been sealed in one of the lower-floor walls of the Rotunda since the 1850s, and thus was protected from the 1895 fire that destroyed much of the building’s interior. Two small fireboxes of the hearth were uncovered in a 1970s renovation, but the hearth itself remained hidden until the current round of renovations. When preparing for the current renovations, workers examined some of the cavities in the walls and found the…

Source: Jeffersonian-Era Chemistry Hearth Preserved in Rotunda Wall

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