Archaeology Survey at Mount Vernom
Joe Downer, Site Crew Chief, updates us on the latest Archaeological findings here at George Washington's…
In 2014, Mount Vernon's archaeologists began a multi-year project to learn more about the Slave Cemetery at Mount Vernon.
Mount Vernon is conducting an ongoing archaeological survey of the Slave Cemetery on the estate. From an archaeological standpoint, the best way to commemorate the lives of those free and enslaved individuals who lived and died at Mount Vernon is to thoroughly document the locations of individual burials on the landscape. Therefore, the primary goal of this project is to create a map that shows exactly where individuals are interred on the ridge just southwest of Washington’s tomb.
How many individuals call this cemetery their final resting place? What are the boundaries of the site? How are burials arranged within those boundaries? To ensure utmost respect is paid to the people interred in the African American cemetery, the remains will not be excavated.
In 2015, Mount Vernon archaeologists excavated 73 5' by 5' test units, covering an area of 1,825 square feet, and recorded a total of 21 burial features. This brings the total number of burials found in the cemetery to 46.
Participate in the survey of the Slave Cemetery by visiting or volunteering.