Developer will allow time for archaeologists to excavate abandoned Old City bodies

Archaeologists racing to excavate abandoned human remains from an Old City building site on Arch Street, will be given time to complete the excavation, the developer said Friday. 

Jonathan Stavin, an executive vice president of PMC Property, said that removal of coffins and bodies from the site, apparently left over when the First Baptist Church burial ground occupied the spot between Second and Third Streets, would continue into next week. Previously, PMC was pushing to have the excavation complete by Saturday. 

"It is not our intent to stop the process," Stavin said Friday. "We are not going to cut it off." 

Stavin added that PMC will seek aproval from Orphans' Court for reinterment of the remains at Mount Moriah Cemetery, "once we have a complete understanding from the archaeologists of what we have." 

Meanwhile, archaeologists removed about 30 coffins Thursday and, though hampered by snow and rain, were looking to remove as many or more Friday. 

They said PMC had provided a tarp and heaters so that work could continue.