Last time on “City Full of History”, we flew with the ‘Bremen’, the first airplane to cross the Atlantic Ocean non-stop from East to West! Come along this week as we visit Inwood Hill Park and dig in to the history behind New York City’s Native American Caves!
Inwood Hill Park is a unique place on the island of Manhattan. While Central Park, Manhattan’s other sprawling woodland area, was designed and built from the ground up, the area that would become Inwood Hill Park was largely undeveloped. By the end of the nineteenth century only a few small farms and the occasional mansion called the northern tip of Manhattan home. Because it went mostly untouched the Washington Heights and Inwood areas were ideal for archaeological digging and in the late 1800’s to early 1900’s a dedicated group of amateur archaeologists answered the call.
The vast collection of pottery, tools, remains, shell pits, and more that the likes of Alexander Chenoweth, William Louis Calver, Reginald Pelham Bolton, and others discovered have lead us to a more thorough understanding of the lives of the Lenape, the Native American tribe that occupied Manhattan and the surrounding areas prior to and during Dutch and British colonization. These weekend diggers also left their marks on the landscape of Inwood, uncovering and excavating the Inwood Native American Caves.
Come along with us as we dig in to the fascinating history of the Inwood Caves and New York’s weekend archaeologists!
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