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BATON ROUGE, La. In a high rise Baton Rouge office building filled with state employees, one goes to the basement each day, down a little used flight of stairs, passing through two sets of electronic locks, but still needing a key to get into the room marked inside, Sherry Wagener shows the historic artifacts from the El Nuevo Constante shipwreck, including copper ingots.

"These were not savages, you know in the classic Hollywood sense. These were people who had full complete lives. They traveled all over the eastern United States, McGimsey said.

"Right now we have 22 institutions that have our artifacts on exhibit in Louisiana. We have another museum in Corpus Christi, Texas, which has just requested to renew that particular artifact loan. They love it, and we had another exhibit in London," Wagener said.

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artifacts are from the location of pirate Jean Lafitte's camp down in Bayou Barataria, she explained, also showing off the remains of what was a hand painted teacup.

"I'm very interested in this jug also because there is a wonderful African American pottery tradition outside of Charleston, Wagener said.

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Nike Tracksuit Pics

"It was a Native American cemetery. There was an Indian Mound there that basically served as the final resting place for hundreds of individuals, McGimsey said.

How long have people lived in Louisiana? Wagener and her boss, state archaeologist Chip McGimsey, point to a tiny weapon hand carved 10,000 years ago. They point out that it is not an arrow head, since bows and arrows hadn't been invented Nike Sweatshirts Grey

And from a site along Bayou St. John, she shows artifacts dating to the 1780s, including a chamber Nike Tracksuit Pics pot. Other items still reflect the beauty of their design.

"It's on Bayou St. John. It's where the original settlement of New Orleans was, 1708 by Canadian fur trappers, she said.

Wagener is collections manager for the state Division of Archaeology. She earned the nickname "the lady with the bones in the basement" because she oversees a room with shelves 60 feet long packed with artifacts.

But there are artifacts we can't show you, including 300 skeletons and sacred objects that were excavated from a Native American burial ground in the 1970s.

In another box, you find simple glass beads.

The basement is closed to visitors, but the artifacts are often displayed in museums.

Many significant discoveries come from ancient trash piles. What was thrown away tells a lot about wealth and lifestyle.

"We try to ensure that the materials excavated in the state, the associated records, all of the information that archaeologists collect is not lost, McGimsey said.

"They were very popular with Native Americans as jewelry items, for putting on clothing, or making necklaces out of, in exchange for which usually the French of the Spanish of the English would Nike Tracksuit Cotton

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"It was coming from Vera Cruz, Mexico, and it went down in a hurricane in 1766 off the coast of Louisiana in Cameron Parish, said Wagener, manager of the state archeology collections.

A box contains a ceramic jug from the so called Mardi Gras Shipwreck, a boat believed sunk just off the mouth of the Mississippi River during the War of 1812. Sherry and Chip say jars like this were as common then as Tupperware today, but now it could be a piece of African American history.

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Another box nearby houses items discovered at Fort Pike at the far eastern edge of New Orleans, from dishes soldiers may have used to items left by Native Americans.

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"The beads are most famous for when they purchased Manhattan with them, Wagener said.

A treasure of history locked away in Baton Rouge basement

makes for some fascinating dreams. I never know what decade or century I'm going to be dreaming in, she joked, adding that she didn fear any ghosts, since a Native American friend had given her may think Bienville founded the city of New Orleans along the Mississippi River, but Sherry said the first settlement was on the bank Bayou St. John 10 years earlier.

"And it wasn't just important to the Europeans, it was also an important location to the Native Americans," she said.

yet, but a dart point for a spear thrower.

There are 18,500 archaeological sites in the state of Louisiana, with about 400 more discovered each year. Many of the artifacts end up here, because the mission of the Division of Archaeology is to preserve Louisiana's legacy.

"There was not meat on the table every night, because remember you're hunting, and with a spear thrower, you basically have to get within 20 or 39 yards of the deer, said McGimsey.

there are problems, including hurricanes, Sherry sleeps in the basement.

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480 boxes contain items found in 1983 when teams searched the area where the new Crescent City Connection bridge would be built. Now they provide a connection to the New Orleans of a century ago, from children's toys to a tobacco stained pipe and glass bottles.

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Nike Tracksuit Pics

They are quiet but excited as Sherry and Chip study pieces of pots believed to be between 800 and 1,300 years old. The intricate carvings on the pottery tell a lot about the people who used them.

Protecting the artifacts from changes in temperature and humidity is critically important to preserving them, so when Nike Hoodie Dark Grey

Pull out one box, and there are items from the camp of a pirate who became a hero at the Battle of New Orleans.

get typically food, McGimsey explained.

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