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Discovery in Frederick Sheds New Light on 18th-Century Md. Slaves

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By Tamar Hallerman

Very little is known about 18th-century slaves who lived in central Maryland, but a recent discovery at the Monocacy Battlefield in Frederick may shed some new light on them.

Archaeologists have known about the site for nearly a decade, but didn’t have the funds to dig until this year. And with the help of surface penetration radar equipment, they hit a jackpot.

Joy Beasley is the National Park Service’s project director.

"What’s important and interesting about theses sites is that this is one of the only instances that I’m aware of in the area where you have multiple dwellings in one location," Beasley says.

Six slave dwellings, in fact, along with food remnants and housewares.

Beasley and her team will continue excavating through the end of September.

But she says unless the project gets more funding, fieldwork will have to be put on hold once again.

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