A publication of the Archaeological Institute of America
The City Hall Park Project is an ongoing analysis of the archaeological collection from excavations at City Hall Park. With a small grant from the City of New York, upper-level undergraduate and graduate students from Brooklyn College, Hunter College, and the City University of New York Graduate Center have been conducting the laboratory work on this collection.
Students are interviewed and complete an archaeological laboratory methods course before joining the project. Several of the students working on the project are currently proposing masters theses based on the collection.
During the 2001-2002 academic year, the materials that had been stored in a warehouse were unpacked, stabilized, and washed. At that time, an initial sort and count were done and the materials were repackaged in archival boxes. Lab work since then has consisted of cataloguing and analysis, which has contributed to preliminary data regarding the collection.
Initial funding from the city will allow basic analysis and production of a project report. External funding will be sought to further the research goals of the project.
Among the topics the project hopes to explore over the long term are:
In addition to presenting a comprehensive report on the archaeological collection, the City Hall Park Project hopes to undertake a public-outreach program making historical information available to the larger community. This outreach will include a web site and may take the form of exhibits utilizing materials found at City Hall Park ranging from those of general historic interest such as life in occupied New York; life for the poor in the eighteenth century; and trade and commerce in early New York. More specific exhibits are planned (e.g. British firearms in the Revolutionary War), brochures for tourists, especially visitors to City Hall Park and the Tweed Courthouse, are also envisioned.