Archaeologists from the Missouri Department of Transportation are ecstatic over a discovery beneath the Poplar Street Bridge in St. Louis. They’ve uncovered the first physical evidence dating to when the French founded St. Louis in 1764.

The findings help confirm written documentation of St. Louis’ earliest European settlers and shed new light on the people who live here. Michael Meyer is an archaeologist with MoDOT and the principal investigator of the department’s work in St. Louis.

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