Diana diZerega Wall

Professor Emerita

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Diana diZerega Wall


Diana diZerega Wall, an historical archaeologist, is a professor of anthropology at City and at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. She received her B.A. from City College and her M.A. and Ph.D. from New York University. She studies American culture, specializing in the archaeology of New York City, and has examined gender, class, race and ethnicity in the city from the colonial period through the development of the megalopolis in the later 19th century.

Wall's earlier research focused on the construction of gender and domestic life among the middle class in 19th-century New York. Now, she is now expanding that study to include comparisons across the classes and among different cultural groups. One on-going project involves working with scholars from other institutions as well as with City College students in studying Seneca Village, an early 19th-century African-American and Irish community that was located in today's Central Park. After conducting soil borings and ground penetrating radar to confirm that archaeological traces of the site remained intact in the ground, they performed archaeological excavations at the site in the summer of 2011. Now, they are interpreting the results of the excavations.

Wall is currently working on two books. One, In Hudson’s Wake, focuses on the archaeology of New Netherland, the 17th-century Dutch colony that extended from the Delaware to the Connecticut Rivers and included Fort Orange and New Amsterdam (on the sites of today’s Albany and New York City, respectively). This book, co-authored with Anne-Marie Cantwell and under contract to Yale University Press, focuses on the roles of the Europeans, Native Americans, and Africans in creating the Dutch colony. The other, undertaken with Nan Rothschild, is on urban archaeology in the United States, and is under contract to the University of Florida Press. In addition to numerous articles and several edited volumes, Wall has written The Archaeology of Gender: Separating the Spheres in Urban America (Plenum 1994), as well as (with Anne-Marie Cantwell) the award winning Unearthing Gotham, the Archaeology of New York City (Yale 2001) and Touring Gotham’s Archaeological Past (Yale, 2004).

Over the past few years, Wall has prepared many articles and presentations on urban archaeology, Dutch New Netherland, and Seneca Village for professional audiences. She is also deeply committed to public outreach, consulting with museums for exhibitions and giving talks on the archaeology of New York City to general audiences.


B.A. The City College of New York, M.A., Ph.D New York University

Research Interests

The archaeological study of gender, class, race and ethnicity in New York City, from the colonial period through the post-Revolutionary rise of commercial capitalism to the development of the megalopolis, material culture