When excavating urban sites, the team from Historical Perspectives, Inc. (HPI), is used to discovering a variety of features and artifacts during the course of fieldwork. Generally, archaeologists in urban contexts expect to recover an array of historical resources and can become jaded until a particularly unusual artifact is uncovered. Over the last few decades however, the HPI archaeologists have encountered many interesting sites and artifacts that have led the field team on numerous journeys of discovery.
|Ginger, the 400lb goddess|
During a recent excavation in DUMBO (Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass), an eclectic neighborhood in Brooklyn, the field team was surprised and intrigued by the discovery of a buried stone “Goddess” within a thick stratum of architectural demolition fill. The statue was given the name “Ginger” due to the proximity to the historic spice warehouses that line the East River waterfront in the second half of the nineteenth century. Ginger is actually a 400-pound sculpture (head and torso) of a nude female. She is a stylized, free standing carved statue with a flat base and measures 99 x 42 cm (height and width). Art historians who have examined the statue have been unable to provide an exact date for her, but agree that the artist was a skilled craftsman. She has curly thick hair that appears to have been originally painted green; only traces of the color are still present. It is clear that it was created for viewing from both the front and back.
|Faline Schneiderman and Dawn Brown in the trench, Brooklyn, NY|
Historical Perspectives, Inc. is a women-owned cultural resources consulting firm that has been in business since 1982. The firm offers a wide variety of archaeological and historic structures services including archival research and archaeological reconnaissance surveys to visual impact analysis, historic structures recordation, and interpretive exhibit and publication development. Incorporated in the State of Connecticut, HPI works throughout Connecticut, New York, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island. HPI has also completed over 400 individual projects in New York City.
Sara Mascia, PhD, Vice President
Historical Perspectives, Inc.