J. L. BELL is a Massachusetts writer who specializes in (among other things) the start of the American Revolution in and around Boston. He is particularly interested in the experiences of children in 1765-75. He has published scholarly papers and popular articles for both children and adults. He was consultant for an episode of History Detectives, and contributed to a display at Minute Man National Historic Park.

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Saturday, August 10, 2013

What Lies Beneath Our Feet

Yet another archeology story, this one from DNAinfo.com’s New York news site:

Workers digging in the Financial District last week unearthed a trove of liquor bottles more than 200 years old — some still intact and corked — underneath a 15-foot stretch of Fulton Street at the corner of Titanic Park and Water Street.

Over two days, they uncovered more than one hundred 18th-century bottles of booze buried seven feet under ground, said Alyssa Loorya, an archaeologist whose firm Chrysalis Archaeology has been overseeing the Department of Design and Construction’s excavation of the area to install new water mains.

“We were pretty amazed,” Loorya said. “We’ve found thousands of artifacts during the project, including liquor bottles, but never this many bottles all at once.”

Loorya said the bottles, which still need to be washed and examined, were likely from the late 18th century, and part of the landfill used to extend Fulton Street towards the East River.
No alcohol remained in any of the bottles, even those still corked.

Two years ago DNAinfo.com reported on the discovery of a well in the same area. And the latest story includes the image of another find, a button from the 45th Regiment.

That story’s mention of landfills reminded me of this graphic from the Boston Globe earlier in the week, showing how a 7.5' flood at high tide would affect the city.

Central Boston would pretty much revert to its shoreline of 250 years ago, before we started filling in the shallow parts of the harbor. The Back Bay would once again be a bay, and Faneuil Hall would be on the waterfront.


G. Lovely said...

That should read "...a 7.5' flood at high tide..." Feet, not inches.

J. L. Bell said...

Thanks for the correction.