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They really dig Boston Common

Since Eversource has to dig up part of the Common this week anyway, City Archaeologist Joe Bagley figured he'd use the opportunity to do a little archaeological digging first, on what is one of the city's more historic pieces of land.

Today and tomorrow, workers from the Public Archaeology Laboratory in Pawtucket, RI will dig up part of the Common between the Parkman Bandstand and the Boylston T stop.

Past digs in that area have identified a British troop encampment frmo between 1768 and 1775 - sitting right on top of a Native American site that could date back 1,000 years, the city says.

According to the city:

Boston Common has remained relatively undeveloped since 1630 and contains rich archaeological resources first encountered during excavations for the large underground parking garage on the lower end near Charles Street. More extensive surveys conducted by private archaeology firms and the City’s archaeologist program in the 1980s identified several intact archaeological sites including two Native American habitation areas, the 1706 powder house located near the Soldiers and Sailors monument today, and a Revolutionary War encampment among other sites.

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Fascinating! Looking forward to hearing about the finds.

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http://youretheexpert.libsyn.com/outhouse-archaeology

(YTE is like "Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me!" with scientists)

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Last Tuesday Joe lead an excellent walking tour of the sites on the Common and talked about this project. It was the second weekly city archaeology event scheduled for the month, upcoming events include a walk in Charlestown on 10/27. For me the most fascinating detail from the Common walk is the fact that there is a fully intact Native American fish weir system under the Common/Public Garden. Don't even get me started on the Greenway findings.

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I know I'm not dreaming - at some point, diggers discovered remnants of an old fishing boat underground near Tremont Street. I don't think it was during excavation for the subway, but I might be wrong.

No one could quite figure out how it got there since there was always (always?) land on all four sides - it wasn't landfill?

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Everything was used to fill back in the day. Trash, ash, rubble from demolished buildings, scrapped ships, etc.

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has an entire local history display about Native American fishing traps that were found when excavating the subway tunnels.

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