They uncovered what they believe to be the remains of the Stadt Huys, New York's first city hall, dating to Peter Stuyvesant's time.
Next to it, they found the remains of a tavern built in 1670 by the English Governor, Francis Lovelace, and in the cellar, a storage barrel brimming with empty wine and rum bottles and one perfect, unbroken clay pipe.
Worn in the late 1700s and early 1800s, these copper alloy buttons often are found in the condition like mine – beat up and missing the shank/loop.
My new favorite antique store, Maine Barn and Attic Antiques, has oodles of raw, dusty crusty buttons for 10¢ to each, depending on the bin you dig them out of.
Usually I paw through the enormous 10¢ button bin, but this past weekend, I ventured over to the smaller more expensive bins (50¢ each. ) and was excited to find what I thoughts were 18th century buttons: They are very weighty!
Over the span of just three hours, I found numerous buttons, dating from the late 1700s through the mid-1800s.
In the photo below, some of the older ones are known as tombac buttons.
That’s how all those enormous, ornate buttons you see on 18th century coats stay so neatly in place despite being so heavy!
All of them have detailed stamps on the back with interesting sayings like “Orange Colour” and “Treble Gilt London.” In reality, they are not quite as old as I first believed.The Stadt Huys project in New York is one of the biggest, most expensive and most productive projects of urban archeology ever undertaken in an American city.The directors of the dig, Nan Rothschild, a professor of anthropology at Hunter College and New York University, and Diana Rockman, a doctoral candidate, came to the site at 85 Broad Street in October 1979 because a new building was about to go up whose foundation would destroy whatever remained of the buried history of the block.The archeologists who made this discovery are members of a new movement in American science - urban archeology.They don't dig on some Indian mesa or a Revolutionary War battlefield, but under the streets and sidewalks of modern cities.The listing is in alphabetical order, by company name.