Colonial-era slave cemetery revealed in the Lesser Antilles
|Archaeological dig in Saint-François [Credit: © Jérôme Rouquet, Inrap]|
In the 1990s, the discovery of a skull associated with a slave collar indicated the presence of a slave cemetery.
Surveys conducted in 2013 helped uncover 48 individual burials, many with with indications of wooden coffins
|The deceased were buried in wooden coffins [Credit:: © Jérôme Rouquet, Inrap]|
The presence of bone buttons shows that they were dressed for burial.
One of the deceased showed cut incisors which, based on comparisons with similar discoveries at the slave cemetery of Anse Sainte-Marguerite (Grande-Terre), suggest that the individual was born in Africa.
|Evidence suggests the cemetery was used for/by African slaves [Credit:: © Jérôme Rouquet, Inrap]|
Overlapping burials indicate that the cemetery was used over a relatively long period of time, probably more than a century.
The timeline remains unclear, but the evidence collected thus far suggest that the cemetery was used from the late seventeenth to nineteenth century.
Between 500 and 1,000 graves are still in place.
The cemetery will be thoroughly excavated and studied, along with any historical sources.
Source: INRAP [February 11, 2014]