Boston Archaeology Team Searches For Buried Artifacts Off Mass. Avenue

Photo: Kim Tunnicliffe / WBZ NewsRadio

BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — A team in Boston's South End is hard at work digging, in hopes of recovering lost relics from a potential stop along the Underground Railroad. At the dig site near the old League of Women For Community Service building located on Massachusetts Avenue; archaeologists are sifting through the dirt for anything that could be traced back to the 19th century.

WBZ's Kim Tunnicliffe was there when City of Boston Archaeologist Joe Bagley uncovered a small piece of a ceramic plate.

"This is what we call a pearlware, or whiteware actually, with blue broad hand-painted floral design is really common from 1820 to about 1840," Bagley said.

Pearlware/whiteware discovered at the dig site. Photo: Kim Tunnicliffe / WBZ NewsRadio

Officials say at least one of the families near the site were abolitionists, and their home may have been a stop on the Underground Railroad, though Bagley says that would be difficult to prove.

"It's an oral history, it could be here— there could be something related to it, but archaeologically no one has really said 'this is how you find an Underground Railroad site.' It's unlikely we're going to find obvious evidence of that," Bagley said.

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The team says it's more likely they'll find evidence of the community space used by the League of Women for Community Service and the family life of the people living there beforehand.

WBZ's Kim Tunnicliffe (@KimWBZ) reports.

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