“Philadelphia is a historical city,” Anna Dhody, curator and director at the Mutter Institute and Museum, told CNN. “It’s not the first time something like this has happened and it won’t be the last.” Indeed, the discovery looks set to yield some fascinating data about Philadelphia’s past.
Initially, workers uncovered a handful of bones back in November 2016. Now they have unearthed almost 40 coffins from an area covering just 1,000 square feet. “We were not expecting to find as much as we found,” Jonathan Stavin, the executive VP of PMC, told CNN.
In fact, there may be as many as 300 people buried at the site. And archaeologists are now battling against snow and ice to excavate them as quickly and safely as possible. “It’s not OK to leave any [remains] behind,” Dhody told CNN. “We’re not stopping until we’re done.”