Centuries-old burial vaults found beneath NYC street

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(Photo courtesy: Commissioner Peña-Mora)

NEW YORK — Archeologists believe two centuries-old burial vaults discovered beneath a New York City street this week were likely part of a Presbyterian church cemetery.

Principal investigator Alyssa Loorya says Thursday the roughly 15-by-18-foot crypts near Manhattan’s Washington Square Park were found Tuesday.

She says they probably were built in the late 18th or early 19th centuries.

Workers starting a years-long water main replacement project happened upon the tombs’ brick roofs just 3 ½ feet beneath the street.

Archeologists from Chrysalis were on site because the nearby Greenwich Village park was a Potter’s Field for yellow fever victims in the early 1800s.

Loorya says skeletons and skulls are visible in one of the vaults. She says more than a dozen of stacked coffins are visible in the other.