Circa 1760 cuff link unearthed at Brunswick Town/Fort Anderson State Historic Site

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BRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — An unusual object has been found among thousands of artifacts unearthed during an archaeological dig at the Brunswick Town/Fort Anderson State Historic Site in Brunswick County.

Between May to June 14, students from East Carolina University took park in an archaeological dig at the site.

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They unearthed thousands of objects ranging in size from small shards of glass to larger objects including coins and ceramics.

Site Manager Jim McKee told WWAY the artifacts collected are now being cleaned, catalogued and processed at ECU.

He says they won’t know the final count of how many objects were found until their analysis is complete.

While analyzing one of the objects on July 3, archaeologists found what appeared to be a glass insert to a cuff link which dates back to colonial times or the early to mid-1760s.

There was an engraving on the object that reads “Wilkes and Liberty 45.”

McKee said this appears to have belonged to John Wilkes who was a member of the Lower House of Parliament and was also considered an ‘agitator.’

“This is a huge find for the Brunswick State Historic Site and the lower Cape Fear because this is the first physical evidence of sedition over British authority which predates the Stamp Act,” McKee said.

The Brunswick Town/Fort Anderson State Historic Site expects to get a final report with the analysis of all the items collected late this year or early next year.

Most of the artifacts will be archived in Raleigh but some items like Wilkes’ cuff link will initially be displayed at the Brunswick Town/Fort Anderson State Historic Site, McKee said.