Professional Archaeologists of New York City, Inc. (PANYC), is an organization devoted to the protection and preservation of archaeological and historic resources in New York City. Founded in 1980, its purpose is not to excavate archaeological sites but to promote cooperation and communication among the City's professional archaeologists and to advise and educate public agencies and the general public on matters relating to the archaeology of the City.
Archaeology, whose literal meaning is the study of the old, involves searching for and analyzing objects left by people long gone (i.e., artifacts and ruins). Archaeologists excavate, carefully recording evidence of human habitation and other activities, and then painstakingly analyze the data and objects they unearth to decipher the past. Historical archaeologists complement or expand this evidence with written records and other kinds of information. When there is no written documentation, archaeology often provides the only clues to past ways of life.
Urban archaeologists conduct their investigations in heavily built environments. In an urban center such as New York City, they sometimes undertake their studies literally in the shadow of a builder’s wrecking ball, working against time, trying to save the history beneath the surface before yet another construction project destroys it. They accept this challenge, for they know these buried remains contain valuable evidence that has not been revealed or fully understood through written records.
Please note: In its original form, much of the information presented on this web site came from the exhibition, "We Dig New York: Professional Archaeologists of New York City," held in The Community Gallery, The Museum of The City of New York from April 2 to September 11, 1997.
Early History of NYC Archaeology
History of PANYC
PANYC Public Program
PANYC Newsletter Archive