The Serenity Farm African American Burial Ground

Author(s): Julie Schablitsky

Year: 2016


The Maryland State Highway Administration had an opportunity to delineate and research an unmarked African American burial ground in southern Maryland. Prior to exploring the site, archaeologists reached out to a local descendent community in Charles County who agreed to speak for their ancestors. Throughout the project, archaeologists and the African American community shared in the discovery of the people buried in unmarked graves on the Smith Farm between ca. 1790 and ca. 1810. Forensic and artifact analysis allowed archaeologists to date the burial ground, explore the health of the enslaved population, and even create a facial reconstruction of one of the men. In the end, the human remains were reinterred, marked with red granite stone, and covered in wild flowers. This paper provides a successful formula for sensitively approaching and studying an unmarked African American burial ground.

Cite this Record

The Serenity Farm African American Burial Ground. Julie Schablitsky. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Washington, D.C. 2016 ( tDAR id: 434293)


Temporal Keywords

Spatial Coverage

min long: -129.199; min lat: 24.495 ; max long: -66.973; max lat: 49.359 ;

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): 519