Archaeology Magazine

A publication of the Archaeological Institute of America

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Mass Graves From 1928 Hurricane Sought in Florida

Thursday, January 17, 2013

NASAPORT MAYACA, FLORIDA—In 1928, a massive hurricane washed out Florida’s Lake Okeechobee, killing as many as 3,000 people, many of whom were migrant workers from the Deep South or the Caribbean. The bodies had to be buried quickly, however, and it is unclear exactly how many died and where they were buried. Archaeologist Shawn Patch is using ground-penetrating radar at a possible mass grave site in Martin County. “I wouldn’t expect to see individual bodies or body parts. What I’d see is loose sand, and then there’d be a massive disturbance in the soil,” he explained.