Press Release

October 10, 2014
For Immediate Release
Media Contact: Anita McKelvey

Laurel Hill Mansion Hosts Urban Archaeologist Rebecca Yamin

Photograph of urban archaeologist Rebecca Yamin

Philadelphia. The public is invited to hear noted urban archaeologist Rebecca Yamin talk about her current project at the American Revolution Center at 2 p.m, Saturday, October 18th, at Laurel Hill Mansion in historic Fairmount Park. The cost of the program is $15. Free parking is available and light refreshments will be served at the Mansion.

The title of Rebecca Yamin's talk is "From Chaos to Context: Urban Archaeology in Philadelphia." While recovering artifacts from long-abandoned privies and wells is very exciting, the finds only become meaningful when they are connected to the people whose possessions they once were. Rebecca Yamin will discuss the urban archaeological experience from beginning to end, using Josiah Eddy, an Afro-American barber whose privies were excavated on the Convention Center Expansion site, as an example of a person "we get to know" through the archaeology, in addition to revealing current findings at the ARC site at 3rd & Chestnut Streets.

Rebecca Yamin has been doing urban archaeology in Philadelphia for the last 15 years. As an employee of John Milner Associates, Inc. she directed excavations on the sites of the Independence Visitor Center and the Liberty Bell Center on Independence Mall, on many sites in Independence National Historical Park, on Franklin Square, and on the Convention Center Expansion site at 13th Street. She is the principal investigator for the ongoing work on the Museum of the American Revolution site. Each week she publishes an up-to-date report on Tumblr about the team's findings at the on-going dig there.

Dr. Yamin has also done extensive work in New York and New Jersey including the Five Points site in Lower Manhattan, many projects at Raritan Landing in N.J., and a major excavation in New Brunswick. She has a B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania and M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from New York University. Her book, Digging in the City of Brotherly Love, was published in 2008.

Laurel Hill Mansion is located at 7201 Edgley Drive, East Fairmount Park. The historic mansion was restored in 1976 by the Women for Greater Philadelphia. The non-profit organization of volunteers has been active in preserving and maintaining Laurel Hill Mansion ever since, while also presenting intergenerational programs that teach people about Philadelphia's rich cultural history.

All program fees are tax deductible and go toward hosting future educational programs at the Mansion. For more information about the October 18th program, please contact Anita McKelvey, tour guide for Laurel Hill Mansion, at

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