Photo: Chrysalis Archaeological Consultants, Inc.
Photo: Chrysalis Archaeological Consultants, Inc.

Yesterday in an exclusive report in The New York Post, it was revealed that over 100 Native American artifacts were discovered during construction of the Pelham Bay Park Waterfront Development project—artifacts that date anywhere from 1,000-1,800 years ago as per test results.

According to the New York Post, “Experts are calling the trove of ceramics, pottery, stone tools and other artifacts found in the southeastern section of Pelham Bay Park one of the most important archaeological finds in New York City history.”

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The Post further writes:

“The findings are pretty spectacular,” said Amanda Sutphin, director of archaeology for the city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission, who gave The Post an exclusive tour of the tree-lined site overlooking Eastchester Bay.

Tests show the rare artifacts date back to between 200 AD and 1000 AD — centuries before European settlers made contact with Native Americans, she added.

Sutphin was especially impressed with the condition of the ceramics, which she believes were once used for eating and food preparation.

“I’ve never seen anything like it found in New York City before,” she said.

The findings of such artifacts in Pelham Bay Park is somewhat poetic in that besides being the largest park in New York City encompassing 2,772 acres (more than 3 times the size of Central Park) it is also the site of the yearly Native American Festival which actually takes place not too far from the site.

According to Parks Department, construction has been halted as of last month on the site and is currently being protected.

This is a wonderful part of our borough’s history that must be preserved as well as acknowledged. We tend to focus on colonial and post-colonial history but we often do not look to the deeper past of our borough and the rest of our nation.

For example, did you know that the Mohegan Native Americans called The Bronx River Aquehung? Or that Hunts Point was once called Quinnahung which means “Long High Place”? How about The Bronx once known as Rananchqua by the native Siwonoy of the Lenape tribe and that other tribes knew our borough as Keskeskeck?

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