URGENT privy question

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butchndad

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hello all
i will post about my first dig, part 2 separately but here is my urgent question:
i was poking around a site in downtown Jersey City NJ where a building had been torn down and the earth essentially flattened out.
i found some bottleshards that actually had the site address and i know that the business that was demolished was in business for more than one hundred years and it was not a business that would have made or used bottles so they had to be a hundred, and more years old -at least
my question (finally): walking the site i found an exposed hole less than 2 feet in diameter, circular and lined with bricks. There was nothing in it down about 2 feet and below that i couldn't reach. WOULD A PRIVY BE THAT SMALL? WOULD ANYONE WANT TO DIG THE SITE WITH ME? I know enough to know i should not dig alone. Would the best way to dig this be to dig down outside and along side the brick wall? Based on the broken bottles found on site with this property address on it, i have to believe i may have stumbled on a "honey hole" HELP!
 

planeguy2

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Not sure that would be a privy. Almost sounds like it was a well that they filled in. Do you know if it went down deeper, or did it stop two feet down?
 

CanadianBottles

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Yeah that sounds way too thin for a privy. How would the original diggers have even dug a privy that thin? And it would have filled up way too quickly and been basically impossible to empty. I'm thinking it's more likely some sort of abandoned water infrastructure, though I admit I've never come across something like that before so not sure exactly what it would be from.
 

hemihampton

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I'm thinking it's the top of a Cistern. A Cistern will have a smaller opening in the top but after a couple feet down it will widen out much wider. LEON.

Pic for example.
P1020561.JPG
P1080631.JPG
P1080641.JPG
 

butchndad

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Any pictures of the hole?
ROBBYBOBBY64.
I want back again yesterday but forgot to take a photo. I did poke around with a trowel but could barely reach. I used a longer metal pole but all I could “stir up” was dirt and bits of brick or rock. I wouldn’t think there would be a cistern in such a developed urban area, would there?
 

Bottle 2 Rocks

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I want back again yesterday but forgot to take a photo. I did poke around with a trowel but could barely reach. I used a longer metal pole but all I could “stir up” was dirt and bits of brick or rock. I wouldn’t think there would be a cistern in such a developed urban area, would there?
Yes
 

hemihampton

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I want back again yesterday but forgot to take a photo. I did poke around with a trowel but could barely reach. I used a longer metal pole but all I could “stir up” was dirt and bits of brick or rock. I wouldn’t think there would be a cistern in such a developed urban area, would there?

YES.
 

Huntindog

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If your site is over a hundred years old, than that could very well be a cistern.
It would have been of no use when they got a plumbed water supply and most were fill with garbage.
I've dug a few and some were a bust but others were great.
Take a bar and shovel and do some excavating...
 

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