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US military hospital from World War I found in Savenay, France

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French archaeologists recently discovered the remains of an American hospital dating back to World War I.

In a French language press release translated to English, the National Institute for Preventive Archaeological Research (INRAP) explained that the camp was found at Gagnerie du Tertre, located in a town called Savenay. Savenay is in the region of Pays de la Loire in northwestern France.

The recently-excavated hospital, which had been reduced to rubble, was built so that Americans no longer needed to rely on French hospitals, the May 16 press release explained.

“Connected by ambulances and medical trains, several hundred hospital structures [were] being built across the country ranging from simple field hospitals to vast [structures able] to accommodate up to 25,000 injured and sick [people],” INRAP explained.

MICHIGAN RESEARCHERS DISCOVER EERIE 1909 SHIPWRECK AT BOTTOM OF LAKE SUPERIOR

Split image of recovered razor over dig site

A rusty, century-old razor was among many artifacts found at an American hospital built during World War I. (National Institute for Preventive Archaeological Research (INRAP))

The hospitals were strategically placed near the ports of Nantes and Saint-Nazaire for easy connection to main French rail lines. The first “sammies”, or American soldiers, arrived in France in June 1917.

Pictures published by INRAP show that archaeologists found medical bottles, combs, buttons and even a smoking pipe during the dig.

ANCIENT SHIPWRECKS, ARTIFACTS DATING AS EARLY AS 3000 BC UNCOVERED BY UNDERWATER RESEARCHERS

Mao of hospital location

The remains of the hospital were found at Gagnerie du Tertre, located in a town called Savenay. (National Institute for Preventive Archaeological Research (INRAP))

A medical clamp, a razor, a watch case and various cups were also found, along with a pair of shoes.

The site was divided into two distinct parts: one was a fenced area built to protect the hospital, and another was composed of 20 “dump pits” that held both construction waste and artifacts. Archaeologists found proof of a water pipe network that delivered clean water,

INRAP explained that similar American hospital complexes functioned as “real autonomous cities,” developing individual sewage networks and sometimes even having its own railway service.

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Recovered artifacts over dig site

An ink bottle and tin cans were among the many artifacts found by archaeologists. (National Institute for Preventive Archaeological Research (INRAP))

“[The dump pits] testify to a certain homogeneity, both in their digging and their filling, mainly composed of construction waste,” the translated press release explained. “The pits located outside the camp have delivered the majority of the archaeological furniture.”

INRAP used the dig as an opportunity to teach high school students about preventative archeology. According to the organization, the archaeological excavation offers “numerous research perspectives,” and an exhibition about the project will be unveiled on Thursday.

Archaeologists bending down and digging dirt

INRAP reported that the dig provided valuable historical information about Americans during World War I. (National Institute for Preventive Archaeological Research (INRAP))

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