Several newly dug holes peppered the property around the Queen Lane Apartments this week as archaeologists began examining several locations in the search for remains from an 18th-century Potter's Field on the site.
Neighbors were surprised to see workers digging at the site starting Monday, and not only because of the President's Day holiday.
At the most recent meeting of project officials, neighbors and activists, estimates were that "ground truthing" likely wouldn't begin until April.
Some neighborhood activists, already publicly skeptical of the way the Philadelphia Housing Authority has pursued its plan to replace the aging 16-story building with a new development, are upset.
Lisa Hopkins, of Northwest Neighbors of Germantown, said she was "appalled but not surprised" that digging started with no notice to the community.
Amy Z. Quinn developed an interest in planning and land use while covering rapidly-developing South Jersey suburbs for the Philadelphia Inquirer, and later wrote extensively about urban and beachfront redevelopment for the Asbury Park Press.