The New York African Burial Ground Project: Past biases, current dilemmas and future research opportunities

Bibliographic Information

Article Title

The New York African Burial Ground Project: Past biases, current dilemmas and future research opportunities

Journal Title

Historical Archaeology

Author(s)

Mack, Mark and Blakey, Michael

Year of Publication

2004

Volume Number

38

Issue Number

1

Article Pages

10-17

Web Address (URL)

http://www.jstor.org/stable/25617128

Additional Information

Available Through

JSTOR

Language

English

Notes

Abstract: The recent excavation of skeletal remains from the African Burial Ground in New York City and their current bioanthropological study and analysis at Howard University is contributing to our understanding of the conditions faced by Africans and their descendants in colonial North America. The complex nature of African enslavement points to the need for interdisciplinary and comparative research on African origins, as well as the biocultural interaction of members of the African Diaspora in the context of European enslavement practices. Research on variation in the biological health status of African-descent communities in the Americas is shown to contribute to knowledge of their social and cultural histories. Through public approval and support, our research team has been able to pursue a more sophisticated and extensive research plan than is usually allowed. The identities thus constructed are complex and compel novel questions. Additionally, our methodological approach empowers the descendant community to engage in its own cultural and historical construction.

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