Lot 9, Test Cut AO1, Redeposited 19th-Century Fill in Privy, Strata XVII (544.1083)

(Late-18th Century - 1880s)

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.

Rationale: Test Cut AO1 was excavated to further investigate archaeological features found in Test Cut AO. These features include a cisternprivybuilder's trench, and foundation wall. Importantly, the excavations of the test cuts in the backyard of Lot 9 revealed that this area was the most archaeologically intact on the entire project. This means that many archaeological featuresartifacts, and intact stratigraphical layers were discovered during testing. Test Cut AO1 is an important resource for understanding the historical development of Lot 9.

Results: A 19th-century, dry-laid stone and brick privy (Feature 12) was found in Test Cut AO1. The privy was installed sometime between 1810-1830 and abandoned by the 1850s. Two primary stratigraphic layers were found in the feature and represent distinct filling episodes: 1) redeposited fill resulting from the 1880's construction of an intrusive stone wall separating Lots 9 and 16 and, 2) the abandonment of the privy in the 1850's. The level discussed here is part of the 1880's disturbance layer comprising the first 5-feet of the privy shaft. The redeposited fill contains mixed and fragmented 18th- and 19th-century materials and does not date to when the privy was in use or abandoned.

Lot 9, Test Cut AO1, Stratum XVII, Level B

  • Collection method

    Trowel, Wetscreen (1/4-inch mesh). Natural Level.

  • Soil description

    Black and Brown Sandy Silt with Lens of Brown Clayey Silt

  • Munsell

    10YR 3/2

Stadt Huys Block


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