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Washington Square Park Burial Vaults At Least 200 Years Old

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Yesterday, workers replacing decades-old infrastructure struck on two forgotten burial vaults just to the east of Washington Square Park on Waverly Place. And—surprise—the things are actually full of bones. DNAinfo says archaeologists on the scene have narrowed down the vaults' origins to one of two nearby churches, and have dated them to the late 18th or early 19th century when a church cemetery was located at the southeast corner of Washington Square Park. The first of the two vaults was uncovered on Tuesday night, with the discovery of the second following on Wednesday night.

Archaeologists are working on narrowing down which church the vaults belonged to, and on IDing the sad piles of bones that have been lurking just three and a half feet under Waverly Place for over 200 years. "You normally don't find burial vaults beneath the city streets," Chyrsalis Archeological Consultants president Alyssa Loorya told DNAinfo. It's worth noting that Loorya is also the archaeologists who helped the city ID a contraption unearthed near City Hall last year that turned out to be an early feminine hygiene product. As for the vaults, it sounds like they'll remain. "It's the city's policy to leave burials intact and in place unless absolutely necessary to move them," Loorya said.
· Burial Vaults at Washington Square Park Belong to One of Two Churches [DNAinfo]
· Old Burial Vault Unearthed Under Washington Square Park [Curbed]
· Urban Archaeology archives [Curbed]