Scott Jordan, who is also known as New York City’s “urban archaeologist,” is taking the traditional definition of archaeology and flipping it on its head.
Rather than digging in the dirt in the middle of nowhere and uncovering ancient artifacts, Jordan is doing his exploring and excavating in the five boroughs of New York City.
Jordan has spent nearly 50 years exploring the landfills, construction sites, and other forgotten or less-visited areas of New York City. During his explorations, he’s uncovered all kinds of forgotten artifacts. Some date back more than 300 years!
With almost five decades of experience under his belt, Jordan is no stranger to urban archaeology. However, his lifelong practice is now being showcased in the short documentary “The Artifact Artist.”
Directed by Russ Kendall and produced by Kaleidoscope Pictures, this documentary follows Jordan, as he goes about his business uncovering everything from toys to Civil War-era clothing from the earth. The 24-minute documentary also shows the way he uses these artifacts to create sculptures, jewelry, and other items that he sells at local flea markets and on Etsy.
On Jordan’s website, Things Found NYC, which he runs with Belle Costes, he describes himself and his partner as “explorers,” “artists,” and “historians.”
The website explains that they find artifacts in all kinds of places, from landfills to shorelines, some with metal detectors and some by eye. They then turn them into stunning items that people can use to adorn themselves and their homes.
For those who want to check out the documentary and learn more about Jordan, the full short film is available at this link. A gallery of photos taken during the documentary filming process is available here, too.