by John McDevitt
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Artifacts found on the site of the future home of the Museum of the American Revolution in Old City are uncovering a more detailed story of the people who lived here during Philadelphia’s early settlement days.
An illegal tavern run out of a family home is one of those stories.
Before construction began, 82,000 pieces of archaeological artifacts were dug up and found (two summers ago) in brick-lined privies, pits, and well shafts where trash was discarded in the 18th century.
One of the significant finds: a hand-painted English bowl.
It’s believed to be from from the home of the Humphries, where the museum building sits now.
But other things excavated from the property prompted a further investigation.
“We had all of these artifacts. 102 bottles, I can’t remember how many tankards, a lot of drinking paraphernalia. It was suppose to be just a house site. You know Mr. and Mrs. Humphries lived on this house site. This didn’t look like any old house,” said lead archaeologist Rebba Yamin.
Additional research revealed Mary Humpheries was convicted and jailed for running an illegal tavern from a front room.
The Museum of the American Revolution is taking shape, and is scheduled to open on April 19th.