Selected Urban Archaeology Sites...

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Highway to the Past: The Archaeology of Boston’s Central Artery Project (Boston, Massachusetts)

Boston's Big Dig was the largest federally funded highway construction project in the United States. As archaeologists removed the layers of soil, they revealed more than 7,000 years of Boston's prehistory and history. The sites in Charlestown, the North End, South Boston and on Spectacle Island document the daily struggle to provide food, clothing, and shelter for the family, as well as the effort to find a little time for rest and recreation. This is an online exhibit on the archaeology of the Big Dig.

Native American Sites in the City of Philadelphia: Elusive but not Gone
Native American archaeological sites are rare within the City of Philadelphia. This illustrated presentation by archaeologist Douglas Mooney reveals the latest discoveries.

 New York City Hall Project (Archaeology Magazine OnLine)
The story of New York City's civic transformation is revealed in the archaeological research profiled at this Archaeology Magazine web site.

African Burial Ground (New York City)
This site is presented by the Schomburb Center for Research in Black Culture (NY Public Library) and the (US) General Services Administration. The largest African American colonial cemetery in America was discovered during the construction of a federal office building in New York City. Explore this web site to see what has been learned from this important archaeological site.

The Five Points Site (New York City)
Many people learned about the Five Points section of New York City from the fictional film "Gangs of New York". Learn what archaeologists and historians rediscovered about this famous nineteenth-century New York neighborhood when they excavated the area in advance of construction for a new courthouse.

Franklin Court (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)
The results of archaeological research conducted at the site of Benjamin Franklin?s house in Philadelphia can be explored in these 75 linked pages of web content.


President's House Site, Independence Park, Philadelphia

President's House Photo Gallery


The President's House: Freedom and Slavery in Making a New Nation
         (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)
A joint undertaking of the City of Philadelphia and the National Park Service, the President's House Project involves the site of the Executive Mansion for the new American nation, 1790-1800. The house site, located today within Independence National Historical Park (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania), provides an opportunity to tell an important national story -- the birth of the United States side-by-side the institution of slavery. The forthcoming archaeological investigations are in connection to the development of a permanent installation to be placed at the site to commemorate at least nine enslaved African Americans who lived and worked in the house during George Washington's years as President. The President's House web site is designed so that visitors can both keep track of the project's progress and communicate their comments and opinions in response. To date, the web site includes, among other resources, the President's House Site Archeology Briefing Paper, the texts of several Community Roundtable Discussions, content related to the memorial competition, historical documents, and links to the Independence Hall Association's extensive coverage of the President's House history, re-discovery, expanded interpretation, and commemoration.

James Dexter Site (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)
The context for decision making on the excavation of this important archeological site at Independence National Historical Park is described at this web site. When the house site of James Dexter, a free black American, was found to be within the footprint of planned construction, the National Park Services consultations with local community groups lead to a reevaluation of the proposed treatment of the site.

 Before the Big Apple (New York City)
This archaeological walking tour of Lower Manhattan's colonial beginnings is featured at Archaeology magazine's web site. Sarah Pickman, Intern for Archaeology Magazine, wrote up this feature.


Updated 11/13/2014