(New York Times) — For more than a decade, anthropologists and historians pieced together the history of a short-lived African-American community that was snuffed out in the 1850s by the creation of Central Park. They combed vital records and tax documents, scanned parkland using radar and studied soil borings. But because the vestiges of the community were buried beneath the park, the leaders of the Institute for the Exploration of Seneca Village History — a consortium of three professors from City College, Barnard College and New York University — were kept from doing the one thing that would open a window onto the daily existence of the some 260 residents: digging. That all changed eight weeks ago, after they won permission from the city to excavate in an area of the park near 85th Street and Central Park West.
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