African American artifacts over 130 years old discovered during Albany archaeological excavation

Updated: Jul. 28, 2020 at 12:17 AM EDT
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ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - An archaeology excavation in downtown Albany wrapped up on Monday.

They were trying to find out more about the history of the Harlem neighborhood in Albany.

It took place on the 300 block of West Highland Avenue.
It took place on the 300 block of West Highland Avenue.(source: WALB)

The excavation was in the 300 block of West Highland Avenue.

“We’re not just finding the bricks and nails and window glass from their structures, we’re finding a detailed record of their lives and we’re excited to tell that story,” said Archaeologist Anne Dorland.

Anne Dorland
Anne Dorland(source: WALB)

What they found was glass and clay marbles, buttons and bottles.

“We know that people have been living here at least since 1885. We are here in their backyard,” said Dorland.

Dorland said it was African Americans who lived in the homes that stood there, over 100 years ago. She said it’s possible they were higher on the economic scale due to some of the things they found.

A residential cellar was discovered, it would have been associated with nearby homes.

This site will soon be covered back up.

The excavation is part of the new transportation center project.

A press release on the excavations and how you can help was recently sent out.

“New South Associates has been contracted by Niles Bolton Associates for the City of Albany to conduct archaeological excavations at a commercial and residential site in the downtown area. A new transportation center will be built at the site location, which has been occupied since the nineteenth century and falls within the Albany Freedom Historic District. The excavations will focus on the residential portion of the site that was inhabited by African Americans during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. We are looking forward to what the project can tell us about African American life in Albany. During the excavations, a Facebook page dedicated to the project will provide updates on interesting finds and new information. New South Associates also seeks to interview current and former residents of the neighborhood for information on community and residential life. Please contact Velma Fann, historian, if you wish to be interviewed at (770) 498-4155 ext 126. After the fieldwork, analysis and reporting are complete, a public website will present the findings and conclusions. This project receives funding from the Federal Transit Administration and we appreciate the efforts of all of the project participants and Georgia Department of Transportation in helping to bring this project to life.”

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