New York City land may be "treasured"as in, highly desirable and carrying a hefty price tagbut who knew that it could literally be full of treasure? In the middle of construction for a project to improve waterfront access in the Bronx, roughly 100 pieces of Native American artifacts dating as far back as the year 200 AD were unearthed. The first pieces were discovered in 2012 in Pelham Bay Park, which is also suspiciously close to where religious dissident Anne Hutchinson was killed and her colony destroyed by the Siwanoy tribe as revenge for an earlier unrelated attack. The director of archaeology for the Landmarks Preservation Commission called the findings "spectacular." Needless to say, work on the project was paused last month as the city decides how to proceed.
The Post reports that priority has now shifted away from completion of the project, according to landscape architect Marcha Johnson. Instead, the focus is now on preserving the artifacts, which, archeologists believe, were used to eat and prepare food. This means covering up the areas to prevent looting and scheduling other digs, including one by a Brooklyn College archeology class, to further study on the objects. While Johnson is still optimistic that the project will "eventually" be finished, the discovery may call for a redesign of the waterfront project, which could further push back the estimated date of completion. Further, depending on how preservation conversations go, the city may attempt to landmark the area and prevent any future projects from taking place on the site of what some are calling one of the most important archeological finds in the city's history.
If you're curious as to what the artifacts look like, some of the most significant pieces will be displayed publicly at the Archeological Repository across the Harlem River, in Midtown Manhattan.
· Waterfront Construction Unearths More Than 100 Ancient Artifacts [NYP]