Archaeological Site Reports
The list at right contains individual projects for which archaeological reports are now available through this website. Each individual project may contain more than one site report. Phase I reports present historical background research and assessments of archaeological potential for a particular site; they may also present findings from preliminary excavations. Phase II reports document the findings from preliminary excavations of a site, and also present researcher's recommendations for the conduct of more intensive Phase III investigations. Phase III reports summarize the entire project and present the findings resulting from large-scale intensive "data recovery" excavations within particular sites.
Promoting Public Education
One of the most commonly heard complaints about archaeology concerns the general lack of access members of the public have to the reports of findings that each project generates. It is a point well taken, and a situation that is all too often true. In many instances, large sums of money are spent conducting archaeological investigations of sites that yield fascinating new discoveries — unfortunately, most of the time the final reports of those projects end up sitting on a dusty shelf somewhere and are never seen again, except perhaps by other archaeologists. It is also true that this should not be the case. The vast majority of archaeological excavations that occur in this country are specifically conducted, as a matter of law, on behalf and for the benefit of the American public.
In an effort to rectify this situation, and in keeping with our mission to promote public education about archaeology, the PAF will be making archaeological site reports for projects conducted in Philadelphia available through this website to interested members of the public. However, given that few reports have been previously created in an easily accessible electronic format, this service must be considered a work in progress. As we go through the backlog of reports for projects both new and old and transform them into electronic files, those volumes will be posted on this page. So please check back here periodically to see what's new.
As a note of caution, readers of these documents should be aware that site reports, including those written about the most extraordinary projects, can be very often painfully dull, even to other archaeologists. Final project reports are known as "technical reports", and they are very often just that — jargon laden efforts than can be difficult to read, and that fail to convey the excitement or sense of discovery that was evident during the excavations themselves. Thankfully, this situation is slowly being rectified and in recent years site reports have begun to be written with a broader public audience in mind.
Reports"Area F" Investigations
Second to Front Streets between Gatzmer and Ionic Streets Eastern Penitentiary Escape Tunnel
22nd Street and Fairmount Avenue Federal Detention Center Project
7th and Arch Streets Fishtown Architectural and Archeological Industrial Survey Franklin Square
Race Street between 6th and 7th Streets Hertz Lot
Vine Street and N. Delaware Avenue Historic Districts In Philadelphia
Preservation plan for the City of Philadelphia Independence Visitor's Center
Block 2, Independence Mall John Cotter's U of Penn. Excavation Reports
Grad and Undergrad Reports, 1960-1970 Liberty Bell Center
Block 1, Independence Mall SugarHouse Casino Project
Fishtown/Kensington Area Washington Square
Walnut and 6th Streets