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Malcolm X House Archaeological Dig Turns Up Evidence of 18th-Century Settlement

Native Americans may have lived at the site even further back

The city-led archaeology dig at 72 Dale Street in Roxbury, where civil rights leader Malcolm X lived off and on from 1941 to 1944 with his half-sister and her family, has turned up the least surprising result of such a project in Boston: evidence of a settlement from the 1700s.

The two-and-a-half-story end house itself dates from 1874, about three decades after that area of Roxbury was laid out. Before that, the area was thought to be all farmland. So it is a tad surprising that the dig has turned up "kitchenware, ceramics and other evidence of an older settlement dating to the 1700s," according to Boston.com.

Yet, given that someone had to have been doing the farming, and the sheer ubiquity of colonial reminders in the region, the results of the project at 72 Dale can't be all that gobsmacking. What may be so, though, is a sign of an even older settlement: "Researchers also have found a small stone piece that may date to Native American tribes that once inhabited the city. But it’s too early to tell how old the fragment is..."

Meanwhile, the dig continues with the blessing of Malcolm X's nephew, the house's current owner. His family lived in it from 1941 to 1961, after which it slid into disrepair.