Everyone heard about Alcatraz and its numerous stories. As it turns out, the island still has many secrets to hide. According to a recent finding, under the Alcatraz Prison, there are numerous tunnels, which were created during the Civil War. Researchers were surprised by this discovery.
“The remains of these historical archaeology features were just a few centimeters beneath the surface, and they were miraculously and impeccably preserved. The concrete veneer of the Recreation Yard floor is incredibly thin and, in fact, in places sitting directly atop the architecture from the 1860s,” explained Binghamton University Archaeologist Timothy de Smet.
The tunnels were carefully built, and thin concrete layers were added in order to reduce erosion.
Civil War Tunnels Found Under The Alcatraz Prison
There were many suspicions, but this is the first time scientists have actual proof. Alcatraz isn’t just the home of the infamous prison, but it also had an important military role. “Alcatraz is less known in its former military role as a 19th-century coastal fortification protecting the interests of a rapidly westward-expanding nation during the turbulent era of Manifest Destiny, the 1849 Gold Rush and the Civil War,” explains a report on the discovery.
It is essential to note that researchers did not have to dig in order to discover these tunnels. Instead, they used other techniques. They took laser scans of the area, used a radar that can penetrate the ground and they took close looks at old maps. Researchers hope they can use modern technology for other future discoveries as well.
These Civil War tunnels under the Alcatraz prison were quite elaborate, and they ensured the survival of the people residing there. “Remnants of buried structures including a ‘bombproof’ earthwork traverse and its underlying vaulted brick masonry tunnel and ventilation ducts were discovered to run east-west beneath the recreation yard,” the researchers said.