This context consists of artifacts found from one of the sections of Test Trench 18, specifically the area adjacent to TT3/TT3N EXT. Test Trench 18 (TT18) was a long, L-shaped, 7-foot wide trench that was added to identify a location for pipes needed to bring water from the basement of the existing comfort station to the new fountain in the southeast segment of the park. An established dog park that was located north of the comfort station was shifted west to accommodate the new trench. Located in the vicinity of TT3 and TT3N EXT, the trench was close to an area of potential sensitivity to human burials.

Excavation was is fill that included animal bones, reinforced concrete debris, brick, and plastic. Any isolated human bone was collected from the disturbed area. Testing showed about 3.0 feet of overburden and fill, followed by yellow sand. At a depth of approximately 3.5 feet BGS, four burials were uncovered northeast of the comfort station. In accordance with site protocol, machine excavation stopped immediately and the burials were hand-cleaned to determine their location and boundaries. The burials were documented, marked with clean white sand, and the trench was partially backfilled until the water system was redesigned, leaving the burials in situ.

When testing began for the redesigned water pipe trench (one that was shallower and wider), an abandoned, concrete catch basin and several additional pipes were uncovered. Additional isolated human bone was recovered from this wider trench, as were some ceramic fragments for dating purposes. Brick fragments and other fill material were noted in the upper levels of the trench but none of it was collected. No additional burials were encountered.

  • Collection method

    This context was excavated using a small backhoe (CAT 305CR) with an 18-inch bucket and later a larger backhoe (CAT 430) with 24-inch bucket. Grab samples of artifacts were taken.

  • Soil description

    Yellow sand

Washington Square

Manhattan, Washington Square Park

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