Archaeological Investigations and Monitoring, Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island

New York Harbor, New York and New Jersey


In 1992 Hunter Research uncovered remains of Fort Gibson on Ellis Island and assisted in their stabilization and display as part of the Wall of Honor project.  Since November 2011 we have been providing archaeological services in connection with security improvements, utilities upgrades, post-Hurricane Sandy repairs and new construction being implemented by the National Park Service at the Statue of Liberty National Monument on Liberty Island. The Statue, erected in 1884-86, sits atop an earlier fort (Fort Wood) constructed in 1806-11 as part of the New York City Inner Harbor defenses. Beneath the fort are buried traces of earlier historic and Native American occupation. Archaeological testing and monitoring have involved oversight of extremely deep contractor excavations, documentation of fort remains and earlier archaeological deposits, and extensive coordination with the National Park Service (including the preparation of ARPA permit applications), review agencies, project engineers and architects, and a range of contractors and subcontractors.

Fieldwork activities have included shovel testing, monitoring, documentation and the retrieval of artifacts. Post-excavation tasks have involved the analysis and cataloging of artifacts using the National Park Service’s Interior Collection Management System (ICMS) and preparation of a series of technical reports describing the results of the monitoring and testing work. In 2013, work under this contract was expanded to include monitoring of repairs and improvements at Ellis Island and in 2016 Hunter Research began work in connection with the construction of the new Museum, Screening Center and landscape beautification project.