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Bioarchaeology at the Courtland Street Burying Ground

When a historic unmarked cemetery was found during construction in Lake George, New York last winter, it was presumed to date to the mid-18th century French and Indian War. The discovery of a regimental button from the First Pennsylvania Battalion however placed the cemetery at the time of the American Revolution. The cemetery is believed to be associated with a General Hospital established at Fort George in 1776 to treat the sick and wounded sent down from Crown Point and Ticonderoga. Unfortunately, many of the graves were destroyed while digging the foundation for a building, so archaeologists have been working with a team of dedicated volunteers to recover human remains from a large spoil heap of soil removed by construction. Museum bioarchaeologists hope to reconstruct as many individuals as possible to document the hardships of war before proper reburial.

View of backdirt pile and shoveling crew in mid-August 2019
View of backdirt pile and shoveling crew in mid-August 2019
NYSM crew and volunteers sifting in late August 2019
NYSM crew and volunteers sifting in late August 2019
Spoil heap (also known as a backdirt pile) as it was in May 2019 at the Lake George Courtland Street Burial Ground
Spoil heap (also known as a backdirt pile) as it was in May 2019 at the Lake George Courtland Street Burial Ground
Button found with Courtland Street Burial #12 (drawing by Lexi DeCarlo)
Button found with Courtland Street Burial #12 (drawing by Lexi DeCarlo)