9. Artifacts Unearthed at City Hall Include Bones, Bayonet and a 200-Year Old Douche

New York Archeological Repository-Douche-Mammal Bone-Feminine Product-1800s-City Hall-NYCImage by Chrysalis Archaeological Consultants

Now located in NYC’s Archaeological Repository, this hollow, cylindrical object made of mammal bone was initially thought to be a spice grinder or needle case, but was later determined to be a douche dating to somewhere between 1803 to 1815. It was found in a garbage pile three feet underground on the north side of City Hall. Archaeologists believe all the items in this pile may come from one “celebratory event.” According to archaeologist Lisa Geiger, women across social classes gave them as wedding presents to each other, though the use and effects were somewhat misguided.

Also at the Archaeological Repository are a bayonet from the barracks and buttons from the almshouse. One of the industries taught at the almshouse once located at City Hall was button making, in the hopes to turn around those that could not care for themselves. Finally, bones were found on the site during the 1990’s renovation of City Hall.

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