U.Va. IDs 67 Graves in Cemetery Found by Survey

Investigators believe the graves were filled in the 19th century

Tuesday, Dec 4, 2012  |  Updated 1:37 PM EDT
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The University of Virginia says 67 grave shafts have been identified since an archaeological survey uncovered the burial ground.

The survey was conducted by Rivanna Archaeological Services LLC for a planned expansion of the University Cemetery. The grave shafts, which were previously unrecorded, are north of and adjacent to the University Cemetery.

Rivanna's principal investigator, Benjamin Ford, says the number of grave shafts that have been identified suggest the burial ground was used by a large population associated with the university.

Investigators believe the graves were filled in the 19th century. At that time, Ford says the largest population living on U.Va.'s grounds, with the exception of students, would have been slaves.

U.Va. Cemetery Committee chair Dr. Dearing Johns says there are no plans to uncover the remains or to excavate deeper.

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