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    Touchstones of Philadelphia’s past on display

    Artifacts once hidden deep underground are on display Tuesday night at the Kensington High School for the Creative and Performing Arts. The objects were unearthed during a PennDOT dig in the area of the Interstate 95/Girard Avenue Interchange in Philadelphia.

    Artifacts once hidden deep underground are on display Tuesday night at the Kensington High School for the Creative and Performing Arts.

    The bounty of archaeological and historic artifacts was unearthed during the PennDOT dig in the area of the Interstate 95/Girard Avenue Interchange in Philadelphia.

    Archaeologist Doug Mooney said a variety of good stuff is emerging from the ground,

    “Everything from Native American through residential sites to industrial sites,” he said “The oldest artifacts probably date to around 4000 B.C., and we have the 18th, 19th and early 20th centuries.”

    Mooney said the artifacts’ future isn’t certain.

    “For most archaeological investigations in Pennsylvania, the artifacts end up going to the State Museum in Harrisburg…There’s been a growing interest among people who live along the waterfront wards about one day establishing a new museum … someplace where the artifacts could be displayed and kept here in Philadelphia.”

    Last year’s display of archaeological finds drew standing-room-only crowds.

    PennDOT spokesman Gene Blaum said the dig is required on the federally funded project.

    “Archaeological work must be done in the area where ground will be disturbed,” Blaum said. “Archaeological work must be done to determine whether there are items of value and to find out if there’s any archaeological artifacts so they can be recovered.”

    Blaum said PennDOT is helping give the public a chance to view the items because people are interested in the wealth of artifacts spanning thousands of years.

    The exhibition is also being hosted by the Central Delaware Advocacy Group, a coalition of civic and public interest nonprofits that advocates for implementation of the Civic Vision of the Central Delaware riverfront.

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