Texas Drought Reveals Graveyard of Slaves

by K-Berens

Recreational boaters originally discovered the remains in the reservoir in 2008.

With the warmest summer on record in many years, many reservoirs in Texas are drying up. The dried-up banks of river beds sometimes reveal some very interesting things – including full graveyards.

Just south of Dallas, Texas lies Tarrant County’s water source. Archaeologists are scattered along the length of the reservoir, finding many surprising things, pieces of the Space Shuttle “Columbia”, for one and graves that have been revealed by the water that has eroded the soil covering them for many years.

The remains at one site were actually discovered three years prior, in 2008, during another long Texas drought. Archaeologists were preparing to uncover the remains when rains caused the water to rise just three days later, covering the bones again. Ever since, archaeologists and historians have been waiting for the reservoir’s shore line to recede – and it has. The reservoir’s levels dropped an estimated five feet during the drought, granting the researchers enough time to recover the remains.

What they found was a jawbone, vertebrae and a skull. Authorities claim that these remains most likely belonged to a forty-year-old African-American male – a freed slave who probably had worked at a plantation that had once been located there.

More remains were uncovered in the same area. The state of the bones suggest that they were from the time of the Civil War, suggesting that they were freed slaves, given a proper burial. The grave markers must have disappeared long ago, which may explain why the graves were not relocated, as were other cemeteries in the area, when the reservoir was built in the 1980s.

The exact location on the reservoir is a secret, because investigators worry that looters will uncover, steal and destroy the area around the remains. The remains will be relocated to another burial site.

Read more:

Slave cemetery revealed by Texas drought | WFAA

Texas drought unearths long-lost slave cemetery | ABC News Radio

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