Unearthing Gotham by Anne-Marie Cantwell
The Archaeology of New York City

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Synopsis

Under the teeming metropolis that is present-day New York City lie the buried remains of long-lost worlds. The remnants of nineteenth-century New York reveal much about its inhabitants and neighbourhoods, from fashionable Washington Square to the notorious Five Points. Underneath there are traces of the Dutch and English colonists who arrived in the area in the seventeenth century, as well as of the Africans they enslaved. And beneath all these layers is the land that Native Americans occupied for hundreds of generations from their first arrival eleven thousand years ago. Now two distinguished archaeologists draw on the results of more than a century of excavations to relate the interconnected stories of these different peoples who shared and shaped the land that makes up the modern city. In treating New York's five boroughs as one enormous archaeological site, Anne-Marie Cantwell and Diana diZerega Wall weave Native American, colonial, and post-colonial history into an absorbing, panoramic narrative. They also describe the work of the archaeologists who uncovered this evidence - nineteenth-century pioneers, concerned citizens, and today's professionals. In the process, Cantwell and Wall raise provocative questions about the nature of cities, urbanisation, the colonial experience, Indian life, the family, and the use of space. Engagingly written and abundantly illustrated, Unearthing Gotham offers a fresh perspective on the richness of the American legacy.
 

About Anne-Marie Cantwell

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Anne-Marie Cantwell is associate professor of anthropology at Rutgers University. Diana diZerega Wall is professor of anthropology at the City College of the City University of New York. Anne-Marie Cantwell is professor of anthropology at Rutgers University.
 
Published September 1, 2001 by Yale University Press. 448 pages
Genres: History. Non-fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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Cantwell (Anthropology/Rutgers Univ.) and Wall (Anthropology/City College of New York) pleasingly convey the palpable sense of orientation that archaeology—in this case, New York City’s—can give “to reach a deeper understanding of the human predicament.” Being America’s oldest city, New York has ...

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The Guardian

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Celluloid Skyline by James Sanders 500pp, Bloomsbury, £30 Unearthing Gotham by Anne-Marie Cantwell and Diana diZerega Wall 374pp, Yale, £30 The Gangs of New York by Herbert Asbury 368pp, Thunder's Mouth Press, £9.41 In the month of the snowy moon, during the reign of the Munsee chi...

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Publishers Weekly

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Rutgers's Cantwell and City College's Wall, anthropologists both, track the evolving practice of urban archeology, and document much of what it has uncovered (and is still uncovering) in the Big Apple.

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