Philadelphia public archaeology lab at Independence National Historical Park closed for up to two years

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The popular public archaeology lab at Independence National Historical Park, forced from its longtime home at Third and Chestnut Streets by a land deal undertaken by the park and a private group, will not reopen in its new quarters for up to two years, park officials said this week.

When they closed it in June, the officials predicted a late-summer reopening for the lab, which is analyzing about one million artifacts unearthed in the park a decade ago.

Although the move from the old park visitors' center to the First Bank of the United States building directly across the street has been contemplated for almost a year, park officials said they belatedly determined that the bank's electrical and cooling facilities were inadequate.

The Philadelphia Archaeological Forum, a professional association dedicated to preserving and advancing awareness of archaeological resources, expressed dismay about the delays....

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