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Historians uncover 18th-century bottles with mysterious liquid at George Washington's Mt. Vernon

Archaeologists recently discovered two glass bottles filled with a mysterious liquid at George Washington’s Mount Vernon estate in Virginia.

The archaeologist who found the bottles, Nick Beard, told FOX 5 DC that he was digging in the mansion’s cellar as part of a revitalization project.

Beard found the top of a bottle, and then the whole bottle, before noticing a second bottle. Astoundingly, the bottles contained a liquid that had miraculously survived the past three centuries.

“Just the fact that there was liquid at all. That, right there, sets off alarm bells,” Beard said. “If there’s water, or liquid, pooling in there like that, that means it’s very intact, it’s in very good shape.”

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Experts believe that the bottles were originally filled with cherries. The glass bottles were placed in the ground between 1758 and 1776 to refrigerate food.

“For whatever reason, these were left behind and they were in pristine condition, and that’s why this is such an extraordinary find because you just don’t find 18th-century food remains, intact, outside of things like animal bones, which are pretty durable,” Mount Vernon principal archaeologist Jason Boroughs told FOX 5.

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Placing the produce in a bottle underground was the most effective way of preserving it from the intense Virginia heat. 

Jars filled with mysterious orange liquid

“One of the best ways to store these types of fruits and vegetables was underground,” Boroughs added. “So sometime after 1758, but before 1776, someone dug a pit… sort of a rectangular, about a foot deep, hole through one of the floors in the cellar, these bottles were set in, and then it was filled with a dense clay.”

The orange liquid was poured out of the bottles and transferred into new containers to be examined. Historians believe that the discovery will not only shed light on how food was preserved at Mount Vernon, but may also reveal new details about slavery on the plantation.

“It’s astounding for us,” curator Lily Carhart told FOX 5. “It’s one of those once-in-a-lifetime sort of things.”

Fragment of 18th century bottle

Fox News Digital reached out to Mount Vernon for comment, but did not immediately hear back. 

For more Lifestyle articles, visit www.foxnews.com/lifestyle. 

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