Forged in Bone: Facial Reconstructions of Catoctin Furnace’s Enslaved Workers

Author(s): Elizabeth A. Comer

Year: 2019


This is an abstract from the "Cemeteries and Burial Practices" session, at the 2019 annual meeting of the Society for Historical Archaeology.

As the saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words. The forensic facial reconstruction of two of Catoctin Furnace's earliest workers is providing a visual bridge for translating current scientific findings to a broad audience, fostering dialogue on complicated subjects such as slavery, death, and disease while increasing public awareness of the valuable contributions of enslaved Africans and African Americans to the success of the iron industry at Catoctin Furnace. In partnership with the Smithsonian Institution, StudioEIS, and the Department of Genetics, Harvard Medical School, the facial reconstructions have become the emotional centerpiece of the new Museum of the Iron Worker, providing a world-class attraction drawing visitors to the site in western Maryland and focusing attention on a unique industrial history that was forged in iron and bone.

Cite this Record

Forged in Bone: Facial Reconstructions of Catoctin Furnace’s Enslaved Workers. Elizabeth A. Comer. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, St. Charles, MO. 2019 ( tDAR id: 449176)

This Resource is Part of the Following Collections

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): 509