Date of Degree

2-2018

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Ph.D.

Program

Anthropology

Advisor

Sophia Perdikaris

Committee Members

Meta Janowitz

James Moore

William Parry

Subject Categories

Archaeological Anthropology

Keywords

Historical Archaeology, New York City, cultural resource management

Abstract

City Hall Park in lower Manhattan, once known as The Common, has a long history of public use dating as far back as the Dutch in the seventeenth century. As the site has been continually occupied for almost 400 years, it is an integral part of New York City’s only recognized Archaeological District. Over half a million artifacts, numerous structural features, and human burials have been recovered and documented on archaeological projects since the 1980s.

While archaeological work at City Hall Park has been undertaken multiple times by multiple archaeologists, all have been instigated by construction projects. As a result, archaeology at the site has been conducted exclusively by cultural resource management (CRM) firms for the purpose of Section 106 compliance. Unfortunately, as they were part of construction based endeavors that placed several constraints on the archaeological work, each CRM project used varying methodologies and levels of recording. This has led to significant gaps in data recovery.

Additionally, in large part because the projects occurred independently of one another, no report has ever synthesized the copious amounts of documented archaeological resources and information into a single source.

These issues came to the fore during a 2010 CRM City Hall Park project led by Alyssa Loorya. Significant data was found to be incomplete or missing from the reports of previous projects, negatively impacting the accuracy of current fieldwork and interpretations.

Therefore, the goal of this dissertation is to design a process, or methodology, for synthesizing the data derived from multiple cultural resource management projects into a cohesive interpretive dataset. A major component of this process is the creation of the City Hall Archaeological Resources Map (CHARM), a comprehensive map that combines all of the available data into a single, visible resource. CHARM ultimately seeks to reconcile the available data into a baseline analysis and interpretation in order to facilitate future research about the Common and City Hall Park.

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