When the Museum of the American Revolution acquired the land at Third and Chestnut streets in Olde City, Philadelphia, it came with the condition that an archaeological investigation be conducted. The excavation that began in the summer of 2014 yielded treasures in the trash: unearthed privy pits provided remarkable finds from a mid-eighteenth-century tavern to relics from a button factory dating to the early twentieth century. These artifacts are described and analyzed by urban archaeologist Rebecca Yamin in "Archaeology at the Site of the Museum of the American Revolution." Yamin, lead archaeologist on the dig, catalogues items—including earthenware plates and jugs, wig curlers, clay pipes, and liquor bottles—to tell the stories of their owners and their roles in Philadelphia history. As she uncovers the history of the people as well as their houses, taverns, and buildings that were once on the site, she explains that by looking at these remains, we see the story of the growth of Philadelphia from its colonial beginnings to the Second World War.
Rebecca Yamin is an historical archaeologist specializing in urban archaeology and the former director of the Philadelphia branch office of John Milner Associates, Inc., a company that specialized in historic preservation and cultural resource management.
Description courtesy of Temple University Press.
PA Books airs Sunday nights at 7.