DENVER
03/26/2012 09:52 am ET | Updated Mar 26, 2012

Rebecca Schwendler, Lafayette Archeologist, Excavates Her Home's Old Outhouse And Discovers Pieces Of History

A Lafayette, Colo. archeologist didn't have to go very far to do some research in the field; instead, she just looked in her home's old outhouse and found more than 100 historical treasures.

Rebecca Schwendler, 40, told 9News, "You can find a lot of interesting things. I think most people have no idea that you can find artifacts in an outhouse." And she certainly did find interesting things -- from Model-T parts, to an old glass syringe that Schwendler figures was used for injecting opiates, to alcohol bottles from the Prohibition era. Schwendler even found two Edison lightbulbs, the earliest brand of light bulbs ever made, according to the Longmont Times-Call.

The discovery was no accident. Schwendler holds a PhD in anthropology with an emphasis in archeology and had high hopes for her outhouse. She even bought the old Lafayette home in part because she thought that outhouse might hold some pieces of history underneath it. "A lot of times they threw things down the outhouse hole that they didn't want other people to see," Schwendler told the Longmont Times-Call.

All together, Schwendler's discovered more than 100 items that date back as far as the Victorian era in 1892, other artifacts from the World War I period as well as more recent items from the 1950s.

The Associated Press reports that previous residents of the home included a coal miner and a furniture maker. Students at University of Denver plan on analyzing Scwhendler's finds and collaborating with her in the writing of a social history report about the excavation.

Check out photos from the dig at Longmont Times-Call.

Photo via Flickr, Jim Bahn

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