Archaeologists in Virginia began excavating three suspected graves at the original site of one of the nation’s oldest Black churches Monday, kicking off a months-long effort to learn who was buried there and how they lived.

by Ben Finley on July 19, 2022


A total of 41 apparent burial plots have been identified. Most are four to six feet long and up to two feet wide. The soil is discolored in places where holes were likely dug and filled back in. Only one grave appears to be marked, with an upside-down empty wine bottle.

Before excavations began Monday, a private blessing was held.