A team of archaeologists has discovered almost preserved slave quarters in the US state of Maryland that are believed to be around 300-year-old. It was discovered at Newtown Neck State Park which used to have a Jesuit plantation.
As reported by CNN, the discovered site might also have connections with the slave-trading history of Georgetown University. It is said that the slave quarter might date back to the 1700s.
Julie Schablitsky, who is the chief archaeologist for the Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration, said that it was a rare and exciting discovery because they don’t have any other sites of this nature.
Speaking to CNN, she said that although there was a potential of the removal of this site, it is some sort of miracle that they have the evidence of their homes even after so many years.
Team of archaeologists from state administration and St. Mary’s College of Maryland began the digging on October 19. The descendants of the slaves who were sold in 1838 by Georgetown University were also present at the site with the archaeologists. A total of 314 slaves were sold to cover the debts of the university.
Speaking about the experience, Rev. Dante Eubanks said that it is surreal to walk on these lands where his potential ancestors had worked and survived. “The quarters of the slaves have buried underground but the soil has not eroded which has preserved the site,” says Julie.
According to a news release by Julie, the chief archaeologist of the team, the Jesuits were ‘prolific’ about record-keeping but there is not much to be found about the African Americans who served the Catholic church and worked on the fields.
As per Julie, their discovered site is the place of the “story of diverse cultures converging to find religious freedom in an environment of conflict, sacrifice and survival.”
Searching the site, researchers have discovered a George II coin so far. They plan to keep the public updated if they discover other artefacts at the site.