SAVANNAH, Ga. — The site of a $30 million highway project in Savannah has turned up thousands of artifacts from what archaeologists believe were once slave quarters on the property.

A team of archaeologists spent three months surveying the 20-acre tract on Savannah’s suburban south side, where the state Department of Transportation plans next year to build an elevated section of highway over a busy residential crossing.

Archaeologist Rita Elliott says the team found more than 33,000 artifacts including an 1831 Mexican coin, nails from long-decayed wooden dwellings, and broken plates and bottles. Bullets, buttons and other evidence of a Union campsite from the Civil War also were found.

Elliott says records show the land was part of a plantation owned by a Savannah attorney named William Miller, who owned 87 slaves.