Crews Unearth Old (And Really Old) Artifacts at Indy Job Site

Some of the items found at the site date back to the 1820s, while others are prehistoric material.

📅   Wed July 01, 2015 - Midwest Edition
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INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - Construction on a $20 million transit center in downtown Indianapolis has unearthed artifacts that offer a blueprint of prior development at the site, according to archeologists hired by the city.

The discovery of a building foundation last month has halted construction in a section of the project as archaeologists sift through the area. A parking lot stood on the site before construction crews razed it to begin building the transit center.

Some of the items found at the site date back to the 1820s, while others are prehistoric material, Amy Johnson, an architect with the Indiana Department of Natural Resources, told The Indianapolis Star (http://indy.st/1LQv3Vd ).

Warehouses, shops and offices were located at the site in the `50s, and the archaeological efforts have uncovered older businesses that didn’t appear on historical maps, city officials said.

Diggers have discovered evidence that a livery, a clothing store, a hotel and a restaurant may have been there before that, Johnson said.

Among the items recovered by researchers are blackboards, menus, clothing store displays and evidence that horses and stables once were at the site, she said. The discovery of two safes and an arrowhead also indicate that the artifacts go back much further in time.

”It’s been very labor-intensive,’ Johnson said of the work to uncover the artifacts.

The archeologists were hired by IndyGo, the city’s public transportation agency, and work for AECOM, the global architecture, engineering and planning firm that designed a 25-mile sewage system currently under construction in Indianapolis.

The firm is shipping the artifacts found by diggers to its office in Cincinnati so they can be studied and catalogued.

The transit center is expected to open by the end of the year.