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Digging up downtown history

Photo courtesy of Flickr / norfolkdistrict

blog by Kathryn Przybyla  • 

Over the past few years, UB archaeologists have conducted digs along what was the Erie Canal in downtown Buffalo, hoping to get a better piece of Buffalo’s culturally significant history.

According to UB,

During much of the 19th and 20th centuries, Buffalo was a major international industrial and grain transport city, largely because of its waterfront and the Erie Canal, which cut a swath through what are now downtown streets.

Already, teams have discovered pipe stems and other personal items, dinner plates, commercial objects, a lot of brick and mortar, coal dust and ash, and something that could be a cannonball or part of a ship’s ballast.

Beginning this weekend, UB is asking for your help to be part of this historic adventure. The community is invited to a “public outreach dig” under the Skyway, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on August 18 to 22.

Project manager and historian, Nathan Montague will be directing the dig as part of the Erie Canal Harbor Development Corp.‘s Canalside Visitor Experience program.

Its mission is not only to excavate the area, but to educate the public about the canal and canal life, generate interest in the canal excavation and restoration work, and help people understand the work of archaeologists in general.

For more information on the public outreach dig, check out the UB website.

Downtown Buffalo
Map courtesy of UB.

Photo courtesy of Flickr / norfolkdistrict

TAGGED: archaeology, downtown buffalo, erie canal, history, nathan montague, public dig

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