NJSM’s Archeology Exhibit Uncovers Capital City’s History

NJSM’s Archeology Exhibit Uncovers Capital City’s History

The Capital City has a long and proud history, with the city’s official founding taking place more than 200 years ago. However, even long before Trenton was given its official moniker, human activity was recorded in the region as early as prehistoric times. If you want to journey through time and explore Trenton’s fascinating past, you won’t want to miss the New Jersey State Museum’s latest exciting exhibit.

On June 3rd, the New Jersey State Museum will unveil its newest exhibition, “History Beneath Our Feet: Archaeology of a Capital City.” The museum will be on display from June until December 31st, 2023. This carefully curated collection will explore the importance of archaeology in preserving the past and how excavations at ten locations within Trenton have helped inform our knowledge of human occupation and activities in the region. “History Beneath Our Feet: Archaeology of a Capital City” and related programming are partly supported by the New Jersey Historical Commission, NJM Insurance Group, New Jersey Council on the Humanities, and the New Jersey State Museum Foundation.

Through these excavations, experts have uncovered several fascinating stories that were previously lost to time, including pottery sherds that illuminated the existence of a long-forgotten local potter; thousands of artifacts that marked a previously unknown Indigenous people’s site; beads that may have belonged to enslaved people; a hollowed-out wooden log that served as Trenton’s water system in the 19th century, and more. Among the archaeological sites explored are the New Jersey State House, Petty’s Run, the Trent House, and the Old Barracks Museum.

Per the Museum’s Curator of Archaeology, Dr. Gregory Lattanzi, “Most people think evidence of the past has been erased under modern cities, but that is not the case. There are still plenty of intact sites to be discovered. In some cases, because of New Jersey and federal regulations, archaeologists can recover and interpret artifacts which help us tell the stories of New Jersey’s past.” A corresponding audio tour app highlighting seven sites in the city will be available for visitors to download onto their mobile devices.

The New Jersey State Museum brings history and culture to life daily through engaging exhibits, community events, and educational opportunities. The NJSM is the proud home of over 2 million artifacts in its collections in Archaeology/Ethnography, Cultural History, Fine Art, and Natural History, as well as a state-of-the-art planetarium. In addition, the NJSM has made it its mission to engage young and old learners and educate the community regarding stories worth sharing. If you’d like to read more about all the NJSM has to offer, please visit their website here: Home – NJSM.

This latest exhibit is sure to dig up a day of excitement, giving viewers all-new insights into the rich history of human existence in the Capital City. If you have any questions or want to learn more about the museum, please contact the NJSM at info.njsm@sos.nj.gov or (609) 292-6464 for further information and details. A world of discovery is hidden under your feet, so plan your visit today!

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