Publisher description for Breaking ground, breaking silence : the story of New York's African burial ground / Joyce Hansen and Gary McGowan.

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How can we learn about the lives of African slaves in Colonial America? Often forbidden to read or write, they left few written records. But in 1991 scientists rediscovered New York's long-ignored African Burial Ground, which opened an exciting new window into the past.

A woman with filed teeth buried with a girdle of beads a black soldier buried with his British Navy uniform, his face pointing east a mother and child, laid to rest side by side: to scientists, each of these burials has much to tell us about African slaves in America.

Breaking Ground, Breaking Silence shows how archaeologists and anthropologists have learned to read life stories in shattered bones, tiny beads, and the faint traces left by coffin lids in ancient soil. At the same time, by blending together the insights found buried in the soil and the results of historians' careful studies, it gives us a moving, inspiring portrait of the lives Africans created in Colonial New York.

Library of Congress subject headings for this publication: New York (N, Y, ) Antiquities, Slaves New York (State) New York History 18th century, African Americans New York (State) New York History 18th century, Cemeteries New York (State) New York History 18th century, Excavations (Archaeology) New York (State) New York, African Americans History, Slaves History