GOLDEN, Colo. (CBS4)– Right next to a popular park in Golden sits an underground treasure of undiscovered artifacts dating back 7,000 years.

The area around Apex Park, also known as Magic Mountain, popular for hiking and biking, is just waiting to be discovered.

(credit: Denver Museum of Nature and Science)

“This particular location is really that crossroads between the mountains and the plains. We just see so much activity and archaeological sites all down this hogback valley that’s here,” said Dr. Michele Koons, Curator of Archaeology at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science.

CBS4’s Karen Morfitt interviews Dr. Michele Koons (credit: CBS)

Koons is the lead excavator at one of the most significant archaeological sites along the Front Range.

The dig site at Magic Mountain near Golden (credit: Denver Museum Nature & Science)

Artifacts and research into the area over the years show hunters and gatherers called the area home as long as 7,000 years ago.

“We did find what we think is an oven and it is stone-lined and it’s possible that it is inside of the house, so this will be one of our key places to excavate in the next week or two weeks,” said Koons.

The dig site at Magic Mountain near Golden (credit: Denver Museum Nature & Science)

Using geophysical technology, archaeologists were able to map what may be lying beneath the surface. What they are finding could provide significant clues to what life was like centuries ago.

“It was my dream to have a community archaeological project where I could get people as excited about archaeology as I am. I think it’s the most fun job… I love it so much!” said Koons.

(credit: CBS)

For the second year in a row, that dream is a reality. The museum is calling on the community to help excavate in our own backyard.

“To be able to have that opportunity so close and so accessible. Its really rare and its fantastic and I am so excited about it,” said Koons.

The dig site at Magic Mountain near Golden (credit: Denver Museum Nature & Science)

Thanks to a grant from the state historical society, the tours and excavation opportunities offered are free. They start June 20 and continue through June 27, with another week next month from July 5 to July 13.

LINK: Magic Mountain Dig Tours

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