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Digging Up Parties Past

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At a half acre parking lot site in Ventura, archeologists have dug up artifacts from the Chumash tribe, the Mission San Buenaventura, and an "elegant hotel that occupied the site after Ventura became a bustling commercial center in the 1880s," including a long-buried mission wall, terra cotta tiles, and empty champagne bottles. Condos were once planned for the land, and local landmark Top Hat burger shack was kicked out last year, but now the owners are trying to sell for $2.75 million. They say they have interest from a hotel; preservationists want a park. [LAT]