Trash Dig at Hanford - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Trash Dig at Hanford

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NEAR RICHLAND, Wash--  They might not look like historians, but don't let their hard hats fool you: workers with Washington Closure Hanford are digging up mysteries decades old.

"We're looking at the excavation of what might be an historic landfill for domestic debris," says Tom Marceau, with Washington Closure Hanford.

In other words, they're looking for trash.

"They had a city here of over 50,000 when the Hanford site was being constructed between 1943 and 1945, and they needed to put their waste someplace," adds Marceau.

It might not sound like much, but it could paint a better picture of just what life was like during the Manhatten Project.  Problem is, they haven't found much yet.

"At this point, everything that's turned up has been industrial waste, construction waste.   It looks more like they used this area after the hanford site and the town site here was left in 1946."

They might not be re-writing the history books yet.  But this is just one of a number of sites history is waiting to be uncovered.

"It's amazing, and the next portion of this site will be even more incredible.   It's a once in a lifetime opportunity," says archaeologist Sarah Clowery.