At least 12 bodies were found in a centuries-old burial vault under Washington Square Park

Washington square park vault bodiesDepartment of Design and ConstructionA burial vault was uncovered by a water main project at Washington Square Park, city officials said.

On Wendesday, workers on a century-old water main in New York’s Washington Square Park uncovered a roughly 200-year-old burial vault containing the remains of at least a dozen people, according to Fox News.

The workers were renovating the infrastructure for the Department of Design and Construction (DDC), which is installing catch basins, sewer manholes, and traffic lights in the area, reports

The vault measured eight feet deep, 15 feet wide and 20 feet long, as noted by

Antrhopologists and archaeologists will be called to identify and analyse the remains, but for now construction plans will continue around the site.

As the findings may be historically significant, the area around the vault has been blocked off. A spokesman from the DDC told they were “re-designing the work to accommodate findings of importance.”

“Working together with the Landmarks Preservation Commision, DDC will evaluate the extent and significance of the vault and its contents,” said Commissioner Feniosky Peña-Mora in a statement.

The find was unexpected, but not altogether surprising, considering that Washington Square Park, like many New York parks, was a burial ground in centuries past.

Washington Square ArchOldNYCThe iconic arch at Washington Square Park.

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