Encyclopedia of Greater Philadelphia

Duffy’s Cut Excavation Findings

Duffy’s Cut Excavation Findings

photograph of a partially buried human skull before it was excavated from the dig site

Examination of the skull in this image from the Duffy’s Cut excavation showed evidence of a potentially fatal blow to the head sustained just before death. (Photograph by William E. Watson, used with permission.)

When the Duffy’s Cut mass grave was excavated, researchers first found material objects, like forks and pipes, which provided evidence of a shantytown the rail workers likely inhabited. Human remains were also found at the site and closer examination of the remains raised questions about the fate of the workers. Though folklore told that the workers had died due to complications with cholera, skulls found at the site show evidence of foul play. Examination of the skull in this image showed evidence of a potentially fatal blow to the head sustained just before death. Another skull showed what was likely a bullet wound, again sustained just before being buried. Anti-Irish immigrant sentiment was rampant in the 1830s, and it is possible that local militia groups were responsible for the violence, as only 40 percent to 60 percent of those who caught cholera died of it. (Photograph by William E. Watson)

Logged in as . Log out? Add a Comment

Your email is never shared. Required fields are marked *

*
*

Share This Page: