Revolutionary War-era field kitchen unearthed at Virginia Institute of Marine Science

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A rare temporary field kitchen used by occupying British Revolutionary War soldiers has been unearthed on the campus of the Virginia Institute of Marine Science. It's a find that initially puzzled archaeologists.

The only other known Revolutionary War-era field kitchen is at Valley Forge, Pa., where two were discovered, archaeologists said. "We weren't sure what we had," said Tom Bodor, director of cultural resources at The Ottery Group, a Maryland-based firm hired to conduct an archaeological survey of areas on the VIMS campus.

The field kitchen was laid out in a ring about 16 feet across. Soldiers dug out earthen fire boxes and piled the soil in the middle of the ring, said Chris Sperling, an Ottery Group archaeologist who has been working on site since February.

Sperling made the connection from the 11 fire boxes archaeologists found in a circle - yards from a Revolutionary War trench - to a temporary field kitchen after conducting some preliminary research over the Internet.

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