Workers extending a subway tunnel have unearthed a section of stone wall believed to part of fortifications from New York’s pre-Revolutionary War era, city parks officials said on Wednesday.
The mortared stone wall is more than 40 feet long and 7 feet thick and is 10 feet below the surface of Battery Park near the southern tip of Manhattan, according to preliminary inspections.
It appears to be part of a gun emplacement connected to one of several forts, dating from the early 17th century, that gave Battery Park its name, officials said.
Samples of the stone and crumbled mortar were taken for study by archaeologists of the city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission. Other items found at the site were pipe stems and a British halfpenny coin bearing the likeness of King George II and dated 1744, a parks department spokesman said.
“We knew the present-day Battery was built upon older forts, but we never imagined that such a large portion of this gun battery could survive for so many years beneath the ground,” Department of Parks and Recreation Commissioner Adrian Benepe said.
Dutch settlers built the first forts after founding New Amsterdam in 1623.
The discovery was not expected to halt work on the subway.
“They’ll work around it,” Metropolitan Transportation Authority spokesman Brian Dolan said.