The discovery of a skull by construction workers begins an archaeological mystery.
In Albany, New York, in 2005, workers putting in a new sewer line dug up a skull. After police confirmed the skull was not connected to any recent crimes, a team of archaeologists took a closer look. They determined the skull was from an African-American who had died more than 100 years earlier. Scientists excavated more bones and realized that they had located a long-forgotten slave cemetery. This site became just the third slave cemetery ever to be excavated in the North. Huey, an archaeologist for the state of New York, offers an insightful, intimate look at the processes used to excavate the site, how the remains are examined in the laboratory, DNA studies, facial reconstruction, and the historical research required to try to find specific information about the slaves buried at the site. Huey shows how laboratory tests revealed important information about the slaves buried in that cemetery and others, such as their ages and health at the time of death, their diets, and even the region of Africa they originated from.
A fascinating, informative insider’s look at how science is used to reconstruct the past. (diagrams, photos, glossary, source notes, further reading, index) (Nonfiction. 8-12)