PROVO, Utah -- Mormon church historians are calling the unearthing of a 19th century baptistry at the site of the old Provo Tabernacle a significant discovery.

Benjamin Pykles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints history department says the baptistry, with its 5-by-9-foot font, was built around 1875.

A team from Brigham Young University's Office of Public Archeology found the walls of the baptistry and font as well as a water pipe and the foundation of a stove that heated the building and water.

Office Director Rich Talbot says the baptistry provided privacy and a more comfortable, year-round setting for baptisms to take place.

Historians say it was the earliest known LDS baptistry in Utah County and the first outside Salt Lake City with the exception of one in St. George.

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