But it’s hard to dig up a tree, especially one that sits atop the very spot where you think the archeological mother lode is hidden.
“We’re moving up a slope right now but there is a tree in the way so we’ll have to move around it,” said Dr. Bill Watson, who has been leading the excavation of the Duffy’s Cit site in Malvern, just outside Philadelphia.
“We’re just a few feet from the next anomaly,” said Watson, using the term that he and his fellow Duffy’s Cut diggers employ when referring to a spot where they expect to make a big find.
Watson, of nearby Immaculata University, said that the weather had been kind in recent weeks so the dig had proceeded apace, that, however, being only inches at a time.
“We’re hoping to keep working up until mid-December,” Watson told the Echo.
Last July, Watson and his team discovered what they believed to be a “portal” to a mass grave at the roughly one acre Duffy’s Cut site, the final resting place of Irish immigrant railroad workers from the early 1830s who possibly died at the hands of violent nativists or, alternately, from a cholera outbreak.
At that point, Watson’s team had unearthed the remains of two men, this in addition to the discovery earlier in the year of the remains of an Irish immigrant identified as John Ruddy.