Archaeologists uncover 250-year-old musket balls tied to American Revolution in Massachusetts

Archaeologists working at Minute Man National Historical Park in Concord, Massachusetts, unearthed a piece of American history tied to the “shot heard round the world.”

Five musket balls were discovered and believed to be fired at British forces by colonial militia members during the North Bridge fight, Jarrad Fuoss, Minute Man park ranger and historic weapons specialist, confirmed to Fox News Digital.

The ammunition was found in an area where British soldiers formed up to resist the river crossing and analysis indicates that each one was fired from the opposite side of the river, not dropped during the process of reloading, according the National Park Service (NPS).

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The North Bridge battle site is located within the park and marks the moment when local militia leaders ordered members to fire upon their own government’s soldiers for the first time on April 19, 1775.

MUSKET BALLS CONCRD MA

Musket balls are the ammunition used in muskets and could be made from any metal alloy, but many were made from lead, according to Research from Worcester City & Worcestershire County Museums in the U.K. (NPS)

“These musket balls can be considered collectively as ‘The Shot Heard Round the World,’ and it is incredible that they have survived this long. It is also a poignant reminder that we are all stewards of this battlefield and are here to preserve and protect our shared history,” Fuoss said.

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Fuoss said the musket balls were made of lead, which was very common at the time period, as others could be comprised of different metals.

American Revolutionary War

The struggle on the Old North Bridge over the Concord River at the Battle of Concord, on the first day of battle in the American Revolutionary War, April 19, 1775.  (Hulton Archive / Stringer via Getty Images)

The fighting at the North Bridge lasted under 3 minutes, leaving 18 men dead or wounded, NPS reported on its website.

Three British soldiers were killed in the battle, and they remain buried in Concord.

A Daughters of the American Revolution spokesperson told Fox News Digital the “news of the historic musket balls found in Concord is so exciting.”

“Discovery of important artifacts like this is a great way to help pique interest in American history. We love that this incredible finding has brought more attention to telling the story of the Revolutionary War, especially as we prepare to celebrate the 250th anniversary of our country’s independence,” said the spokesperson.

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Fuoss also shared his excitement about the timing of the find.

Concord, Mass American Revolution

The Old North Bridge and Battle Ground in the Minute Man National Historic Park of the National Park Service, where April 19, 1775, is marked as the first day of the American Revolutionary War. (Paul Marotta via Getty Images)

“We found them on the cusp of the 250th anniversary of the American Revolution, while much of the country is looking towards 2026 as the Declaration of Independence 250th, our anniversary is next April 2025,” he said. 

“So, we’re already in full swing commemorating the 250th anniversary of the revolution, and we will be continuing to do so all the way through next year and beyond, because this starts an eight-year war.”

The archaeologists who found the musket balls were conducting compliance activities in preparation for the park’s Great American Outdoors Act project.

“We were not expecting to find them. We weren’t looking for them. We were just trying to make sure there was nothing going to be damaged because the park is working on updating some of our infrastructure,” said Fuoss.

musket split

Guests can see the musket balls themselves on Archeology Day at Minute Man National Historical Park on Saturday, July 13. (Paul Marotta/NPS)

The Great American Outdoors Act seeks to address the maintenance and repair of national parks. The law helps make  enhancements to national parks to ensure “preservation and provide opportunities for recreation, education and enjoyment for current and future visitors,” according to NPS.

Guests can see the musket balls themselves on Archeology Day at Minute Man National Historical Park on Saturday, July 13.

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Fox News Digital has reached out to NPS for additional comment.

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