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Preservationists open second Lee capsule

People work to open box
Virginia state conservators work on a box believed to be a time capsule left in the pedestal at the former site of a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee. Conservation experts pulled buttons, coins, documents and other artifacts from the time capsule found in the remnants of the pedestal. (AP Photo/Sarah Rankin)

A Confederate time capsule found 20 feet under the pedestal that once held a statue of Robert E. Lee was opened Tuesday.

Using mini saws and a small Teflon spatula, Kate Ridgway of the Department of Historic Resources Lab meticulously pried open the lid and one side of the copper box.

“What we have left in the box looks like maybe eight books," Ridgway said. "It looks like maybe some kind of textile at the bottom that might be the flag, we’re not sure yet. And there’s a few other sort of pieces of loose papers and there’s also a mini ball right at the bottom.”

That ball turned out to be a bullet. Other Items included Confederate money, a bible, a book titled “A Guide to Richmond” and a copy of the Daily Dispatch newspaper from 1868.

According to articles from the time, the box was supposed to contain about 60 artifacts.

Another time capsule was found in the pedestal on December 17th, possibly placed by the statues’ builders