New York of the past, below our feet - KMSP-TV

New York of the past, below our feet

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NEW YORK (MYFOXNY) -

When you peel back the layers of a New York City street, you never never know what you're going to find.

There's a lot to discover near South Street Seaport right in the middle of Fulton Street. Alyssa Loorya is president of Chrysalis Archaeological Consultants. Over the last 5 years they've unearthed pieces of a puzzle: cracked 19th Century bowls, rusty belt buckles, a chamber pot, even buttons from British troops who fought George Washington at the Battle of Brooklyn.

Alyssa and her team have worked alongside construction crews laying new water mains and sewer lines for the Department of Design and Construction. Ironically, a major find was hollowed out tree logs used as wooden water pipes, part of the original Manhattan Water Company. The technology pre-dates cast-iron pipes of the Civil War era.

Hollowed-out wooden water pipes were no doubt innovative for the time, but were not exactly efficient. The Chrysalis Archaeology team discovered that wealthy New Yorkers of the time drank bottled water. The team found ceramic stoneware and traced it back to a German company that imported bottles to New Yorkers way back in the 1790s. That company still exists, still processing and bottling water today.

Our world of today traced back to its roots, a foundation of everyday life for the world beneath our feet.

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