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Columbia, SC (WLTX) -- An archaeological dig at Columbia's Bull Street mental health campus is beginning, which caps months of negotiations between the University of South Carolina, the state's Department of Mental Health, and an upstate developer.

The dig is taking place at what is known as 'Camp Asylum' a Civil War-era prison camp for Union soldiers.

The area will be part of the future site of a development stemming from a deal reached between the City of Columbia and developer Bob Hughes.

The dig team is on site using tools to help them map areas, using metal detectors in search of artifacts, and using a "ground penetrating radar," which is a tool used by the Richland County Sheriff's Department, but was being used at the site by sheriff's deputies training on the equipment, Project Head Chester DePratter said.

DePratter is also a professor at the University of South Carolina's Institute of Archaeology and Anthropology.

These are the earliest steps, being started ahead of a more in depth dig which will last from January to April.