The construction of Michigan Central Station between 1911-13 and Roosevelt Park in 1918-21 involved the demolition and forced displacement of over 300 working-class households and other buildings from the urban 19th-century neighborhood that once stood in this area of Corktown, Detroit. Excavations at Roosevelt Park have been the focus of Dr. Krysta Ryzewski’s biennial Archaeological Field Methods class (ANT5280) in 2012 and 2014. During the fall of 2016 the class is investigating the contrasts in material culture, the area’s urban landscape, and the neighborhood’s demographics prior to and during the contentious displacement process.
This blog features weekly posts authored by students who are part of the current excavation team at Roosevelt Park during the fall of 2016. The posts are designed to provide information about the process and finds of the excavations. Those interested in visiting the excavations in progress are welcome to attend the Open Day that the class will host at Roosevelt Park on Saturday October 29, between 1-3pm. Updates of our progress are also regularly posted on the Wayne State Archaeology Facebook pages and on Twitter: @UnearthDetroit, #RPdig, @GLGMuseum.
The excavations we are conducting at Roosevelt Park are part of a long-term research project that operates with permission from the City of Detroit. The artifacts recovered from Roosevelt Park are removed using scientific recording practices and archaeological methods. They are studied, curated, and will be exhibited in the Gordon L. Grosscup Museum of Anthropology at Wayne State University.
We ask that visitors to the Park are respectful of the excavation areas and do not disturb any of the park’s buried archaeological remains with unauthorized excavations. The objects recovered from Roosevelt Park tell the story of Detroit’s forgotten communities; if the artifacts are removed without proper archaeological procedures then these community histories will be forever lost.