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Human Bone Found at Site of Williamsburg’s First Baptist Church

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

WILLIAMSBURG, VIRGINIA—Archaeologist Jack Gary of Colonial Williamsburg announced the identification of a human tooth and a finger bone in disturbed earth at the site of the First Baptist Church building on South Nassau Street, according to a WTKR report. The congregation, founded by free and enslaved African Americans in 1776, began meeting on the site in 1818, and met in different buildings there until the founding of Colonial Williamsburg in 1956, when the congregation moved to another location. Church records were destroyed by flood and fire over the years, explained church member Connie Harshaw, who is also president of the church’s Let Freedom Ring Foundation. “Being able to identify individuals—like a named individual—is difficult, if not impossible,” Gary added. The excavation team is not sure how many grave shafts may remain on the property, but current church members have given permission for the investigation to continue. For more on the archaeology of churches in Colonial Williamsburg, go to "Knight Watch."

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