One crappy thing about living on the west coast is the lack of history. For example, if you were to dig up a Vancouver parking lot, the only thing you’re going to find is damp dirt and maybe some hamster skeletons.
Luckily, there are places around the world with enough historic things to go around… even under parking lots. Here are ten of those things from an awesome little list I found on Mental_Floss:
The King of England
In the five centuries since King Richard III died in battle (the last English king to due so I might add) the location of his final resting place was lost… that is until archeologists dug up a parking lot in Leicester.
The Palace of Queen Helena of Adiabene
When the Romans sacked Jerusalem in 70 CE, they didn’t do a great job preserving some its more infamous real estate… amongst the locations they neglected and allowed history to forget was Helena’s humble abode. The ruins of her palace lay unmarked until archeologists surveyed a plot of land prior to a parking being constructed above it.
Texas Navy War Ship
In 1996 the National Underwater and Marine Agency found the Zavala, a ship that was part of the Texas Navy during the 1835 Texas Revolution. Where did they find it? Yup, under a parking lot in Galveston.
Henry VIII’s Private Chapel
The Palace of Placentia, which housed the Royal Chapel where Henry VII wed at least two of his brides, was built in 1447 and demolished in 1694 to make room for a hospital for injured soldiers. Further development in the area buried the remains of the Palace deeper and deeper until 2006 when a construction worker discovered some artifacts while working on a new parking lot for the area.
The Canadian Parliament
In 1848, the parliament of the United Province of Canada passed legislation mandating responsible government, which would eventually lead to an independent state. In 1849, an angry mob burned the parliament building to the ground.
The site eventually became a public space ambiguously named “Parliament Square,” and by the 1920s, all connection with the site’s historic past was lost. It wasn’t long before someone pointed to the land and asked, “How many cars do you think we could fit there?” The cradle of Canadian democracy became a parking lot, and where once sat members of parliament now sat Honda Civics.
In 2010, archaeologists ended a twenty-year survey and started digging. Among the relics they’ve turned up so far include a portrait of Queen Victoria and some books.