Some government workers got the surprise of their lives last week when they were working to upgrade water mains underneath a New York City park.
According to Conservative Tribune, the workers were digging underneath Washington Square Park in Greenwich Village last Tuesday when they came upon an old tunnel that was once a burial vault for a 19th century Presbyterian church cemetery. The remains of 12 people were found in the hole, which was 8 feet deep and 20 feet wide.
The construction has been halted and archaeologists have been called in to study the room and see what they can find. Alyssa Loorya, principal investigator on the matter, told reporters that the burial ground was probably used in the late 18th and early 19th century.
After the Revolutionary War, Washington Park was used as a potter’s field for the burial of the poor, and many victims of yellow fever were buried there.
Landmarks Preservation Commissioner Feniosky Peña-Mora promised that the city of New York would redesign their construction efforts to accommodate this discovery.
“The vault is being protected and passage by vehicles and pedestrians will be restricted,” she explained. “The impacted area will be blocked off until further information is developed.”
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