Lot 8, Test Cut BS, ca. 1830 Lot Wall Builder's Trench, Strata XI (544.1513)

(ca. 1830)

Introduction: Lots 8, 9, and 15 are modern designations for adjacent parcels of land that were owned together and used as a single property until the early 1830's. Excavations produced important discoveries like that of the Colonial-era Lovelace Tavern, proving that significant archaeological resources could still exist in urban spaces. Project archaeologists were able to lobby for increased time and funds to continue their work on the strength of these finds, leading to additional discoveries. In all, the project provided considerable information about the history of New York City and its inhabitants from the 17th to the 20th centuries.

The tavern was constructed by the second English Governor of New York, Francis Lovelace, around 1670. Taverns were important spaces for colonial communities, serving as centralized meeting places that fulfilled important social, recreational, political, and economic functions. Lovelace Tavern became New York's temporary City Hall starting in the late-17th century after the Stadt Huys fell into disrepair and was demolished in 1706. 

Rationale: Remains of the Lovelace Tavern were first encountered during the excavation of Test Cut AQ. Overall, archaeologists excavated 27 test cuts inside, adjacent to, or within the walls of the tavern, representing around fifty-percent of the total area. Test Cut BS was a 2- by 5-foot excavation unit placed between Test Cuts BW and BQ in the southwestern part of the Lovelace Tavern area and against the western stone wall separating Lots 7 and 8. The cut was excavated in part to see if the western wall of the Tavern was present in this area, which it was. 

Results: Archaeologists uncovered a builder's trench used by workers constructing the stone boundary wall separating Lots 7 and 8 in 1830 or shortly thereafter. However, no diagnostic artifacts were recovered to confirm this date. The trench was 5- to 8-inches thick, though its original dimensions were probably altered when the above sewer pipe was installed at a later point. 

Lot 8, Test Cut BS, Strata XI, Level A

  • Collection method

    Shovel, Trowel, Screen (1/2-inch mesh). Natural Level.

  • Soil description

    Brown Sandy Silt with Mortar

  • Munsell

    10YR 5/4, 7.5YR 5/4 - 7.5YR 5/6

Stadt Huys Block


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