Students at the New York City Archaeological Repository, September 15, 2017

Bard Graduate Center’s “Excavating the Empire City” class, taught by Meredith Linn, assistant professor of historical archaeology, visited the New York City Archaeological Repository and Nan A. Rothschild Research Center on September 15. This semester, students are researching objects from the 1979-1980 archaeological excavation of the Stadt Huys Block in Lower Manhattan. Directed by Nan A. Rothschild and Diana diZerega Wall, this was the first large-scale excavation undertaken in New York City. It was “groundbreaking” not only because of the fantastic material remains of daily life from the colonial period through the twentieth century that were unearthed, but also because the excavation proved that even in one of the most heavily developed parts of the city, hundreds-of-years-old artifacts survive underground awaiting discovery and analysis.

At the repository, students examined objects from the collection that they had selected prior to the trip from the repository’s website. Amanda Sutphin, director of archaeology at the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC), Jessica Striebel MacLean, urban archaeologist at the LPC, and Kathryn Sabella, curator at the Archaeological Repository, instructed students about the repository’s work in archaeological curation, research, and public outreach. They also introduced the students to the repository’s internal database. This semester, students will contribute to the repository’s work by adding their own object research to the database as well as labels to the repository’s website.