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In the dirt with the City Archaeologist


Published by:

Landmarks Commission

The City Archaeology Program has come a long way since it was created in 1983.

Today, we focus on recovering archaeological data before loss to development. We use these discoveries to seek stories in the ground that are missing from historic records. This includes stories of minorities, women, and children.    


First Church of Roxbury archaeological dig. Photo Courtesy of City of Boston Archaeology Department.

This past year has seen two excellent opportunities for historic preservation through archaeology. In the shadow of the First Church in Roxbury our team identified five distinct areas where Massachusetts Native peoples used stone tools. This place was an important gathering location for tribal groups for centuries. As a result of these discoveries, the proposed landscape plan was modified so as not to disturb archaeological deposits.

In Boston’s historic Chinatown, we excavated the backyard of 6 Hudson Street. While the dig was unable to find the early deposits from the Chinese and Syrian immigrants that lived in the home which has since been demolished, we were able to celebrate the history and contributions of the Chinese and Syrian immigrant communities in Boston’s story. 

These two sites are a small part of the City's preservation efforts. The Archaeology team is committed to preserving, recording, and celebrating what makes Boston historic, beautiful, and unique.

For more information, check out the City Archaeologist's web page.

Roxbury Downtown Environment