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Forgotten Bones: Uncovering a Slave Cemetery

Cover: 'Forgotten Bones:  Uncovering a Slave Cemetery '

Staff Review: "Forgotten Bones: Uncovering a Slave Cemetery " by Lois Miner Huey


I'm always curious about the past and how important it is recognize the impact the past has on the present. This book, "Forgotten Bones: Uncovering a Slave Cemetery" really piqued my curiosity. I enjoy reading about how these relics from the past are discovered and analyzed. In this case, the cemetery is located near Albany, NY, and discovered during an excavation to lay sewer pipes. The land belonged at one time to a wealthy farmer who owned slaves. The archaeologists were able to discover two rows of carefully buried bodies. After examination, the researchers were able to identify DNA, perform examination of the skeletons for information about health and diet and ultimately create busts showing how some of these people could have looked.

Reading about the processes for removing the delicate bones of the babies and children interred here, the way the researchers pieced together DNA that delineated the heritage of these slaves as well as how and why certain examinations are preformed make up the bulk of this short book. While the excavation is the main thrust of the book, there are many illustrations that help place this cemetery within the larger culture of northern slaves and their owners. In addition, there are several explanations of life as a northern slave. The author finishes her examination by comparing this find with two other cemeteries for slaves that are found in the North.

This book is an excellent look at the archaeology and preservation of the history of the United States. This book was an eye-opening look into the life of northern slaves and how their lives differed from those in the South. Highly recommended.

Audience: teens | Genre: nonfiction

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