A highly-anticipated ceremony at the West Point US military academy marked the opening of a time capsule dating back to the 1820s. The event took place in front of a gathering of cadets on Monday, who were filled with anticipation as the lead box was carefully examined. Disappointment swept over the audience when the box was initially revealed to be seemingly empty.

However, new revelations have emerged. Officials have clarified that the box indeed held historical artifacts, including a medal and five coins that were minted between 1795 and 1828. The US military academy issued a statement explaining that these items were intricately “embedded” within the structure of the box itself.

Among the artifacts were coins with monetary values ranging from one cent to one dollar. Notably, the time capsule also contained a medal commemorating the completion of the Erie Canal in 1825. This significant waterway, constructed over a span of eight years, connected the Hudson River in New York to the Great Lakes.

West Point released a statement on Wednesday confirming the details: “Six coins and a medal were embedded within the matrix, dating from 1795 to 1828. The process of historical preservation is ongoing, and we will provide updates as new information becomes available.”

The event on Monday showcased the involvement of prominent West Point officials, who graced the stage to celebrate this momentous occasion. The center stage featured the gray box, measuring 12 inches by 12 inches by 13 inches (30cm by 30cm by 33cm). Two school employees, equipped with purple rubber gloves and white masks, stood ready to reveal the contents of the box.

This remarkable discovery came several months after the unearthing of a bronze statue honoring Thaddeus Kosciuszko, a revered war hero and statesman. The time capsule had been hidden beneath the statue’s marble visage, seemingly placed there during the statue’s completion in 1829. The revelation of these historical artifacts adds a new layer of significance to the West Point ceremony and fuels the ongoing mission of historical preservation.