Posted by: Brian | October 8, 2011

Lost & Found

Deutsche Mark coin found at Old Main

Our dig at Old Main has uncovered a lot of building rubble and a few surprises. A coin turned up on the surface of the site during our Saturday open dig. While it’s not unusual to find loose coins just about anywhere in America, the particular coin we found was certainly unexpected. It’s from Germany. I don’t know anything about German currency, but I can google. From what I can tell the coin we found is a 2 Deutsche Mark minted in 1970 with with Konrad Adenauer (?) on the face. This currency apparently remained in circulation up through the introduction of the Euro in 2001.

To me, the real mystery is how this coin ended up in the dirt next to Old Main.  I can’t imagine that there have been that many German coins lost on Hamline campus. I’m willing to bet that the one we found may be the only one of its type anywhere on campus grounds. Could be that the person that lost it is still alive, maybe even still around. So if you know anyone that was on Hamline campus after traveling to Germany between 1970 and 2001, let them know that we may have found their lost memento.

Our other recent lost and found item is a bit older.

Toy car found during our Old Main dig.

My favorite find from our excavations last week is a small toy car. I think it’s made of pewter. I’m not sure what kind of car it is, but my guess is that this artifact was manufactured during the early 20th century just because the car looks like an early Model T or similarly old automobile. We found the car in a deposit that I think may be part of the upper rubble at Old Main. I had assumed that this rubble layer was a part of the construction/deconstruction activities of the 1880s. The car, however, forces me to reconsider my working hypothesis.

I am intrigued by the toy. It certainly doesn’t look like something a college student would have had. I wonder if it could have been lost by someone from the University community that had a young child on campus. The toy, no matter who once owned it, at least shows that the Old Main archaeological record includes random bits of Hamline history lost and now found.


  1. You have got to love the random things you dig up or find. They just serve to remind you that so much happened before you were there, and each place and each item has a history.

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