TERROR

On New Jersey hillside, clues to Revolutionary War mystery

  • In this May 5, 2016, photo, Kevin Bradley, left, and Donald Purdon, project archeologists with Commonwealth Heritage Group, a Michigan-based firm that specializes in archaeological surveying, look at some items found by William Styple, right, at a site in Chatham, N.J. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)

    In this May 5, 2016, photo, Kevin Bradley, left, and Donald Purdon, project archeologists with Commonwealth Heritage Group, a Michigan-based firm that specializes in archaeological surveying, look at some items found by William Styple, right, at a site in Chatham, N.J. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)  (The Associated Press)

  • In this May 5, 2016, photo, William Styple holds an old farm implement that he unearthed while looking for artifacts in Chatham, N.J. A group is digging for artifacts that may be the best evidence yet, that this unspoiled swath of land about 15 miles west of Newark Liberty International Airport hosted Gen. George Washington's army in the winter of 1777, a year before the ragtag group hunkered down at its more well-known refuge at Valley Forge, Pa. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)

    In this May 5, 2016, photo, William Styple holds an old farm implement that he unearthed while looking for artifacts in Chatham, N.J. A group is digging for artifacts that may be the best evidence yet, that this unspoiled swath of land about 15 miles west of Newark Liberty International Airport hosted Gen. George Washington's army in the winter of 1777, a year before the ragtag group hunkered down at its more well-known refuge at Valley Forge, Pa. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)  (The Associated Press)

  • In this Thursday, May 5, 2016, photo, William Styple, right, carries a metal detector as he walks with project archeologist Kevin Bradley, of Commonwealth Heritage Group, a Michigan-based firm that specializes in archaeological surveying, as they look for artifacts in Chatham, N.J. Archaeologists have uncovered artifacts from a site in northern New Jersey where American soldiers likely camped during the early part of the Revolutionary War. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)

    In this Thursday, May 5, 2016, photo, William Styple, right, carries a metal detector as he walks with project archeologist Kevin Bradley, of Commonwealth Heritage Group, a Michigan-based firm that specializes in archaeological surveying, as they look for artifacts in Chatham, N.J. Archaeologists have uncovered artifacts from a site in northern New Jersey where American soldiers likely camped during the early part of the Revolutionary War. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)  (The Associated Press)

Archaeologists have uncovered artifacts from a site in northern New Jersey where American soldiers may have camped early in the Revolutionary War.

A survey conducted last week on an unspoiled swath of land about 15 miles west of Newark Liberty International Airport produced several dozen items. These included metal buckles, a knob from a desk drawer and the bowl of a pipe.

American history author William Styple (STEYE'-puhl) believes those artifacts are proof that Gen. George Washington's army made camp there for several months in the winter of 1777. That was a year before the ragtag group wintered at its more well-known refuge at Valley Forge, Pennsylvania.

If he's right, it could add a chapter to the historical record of the Revolutionary War that's been hinted at but never fully explored.