A Reanalysis of Human Remains from a Cemetery at Catoctin Furnace


More than three decades ago, a highway expansion project resulted in the excavation of thirty-five historic graves at Catoctin Furnace. Initial analysis was conducted by Smithsonian anthropologist J. Lawrence Angel, who identified the remains as African or African-American, presumably associated with the late eighteenth – mid-nineteenth century operation of the iron works. This report presents updated assessments of demography and pathology, as well as stable carbon and nitrogen isotope data to develop the life histories of these individuals and explore their involvement in furnace operations. Data derived from recent testing differentiate the Catoctin Furnace series from plantation-based contemporaries in the Chesapeake region, especially with regard to subsistence strategies. 

Cite this Record

A Reanalysis of Human Remains from a Cemetery at Catoctin Furnace. Karin Bruwelheide, Douglas Owsley, Kathryn Barca. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Washington, D.C. 2016 ( tDAR id: 434483)

Spatial Coverage

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

Individual & Institutional Roles

Contact(s): Society for Historical Archaeology

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): 496