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Slave village uncovered at Civil War battlefield

Ground-penetrating radar has been used to uncover a slave village on the Monocacy National Battlefield’s Best Farm.

Through other advanced remote sensing surveys, as well as labor-intensive shovel work completed since June, the excavation team had identified four chimney foundations, and what appears to be the outline of gardens or animal pens surrounding the village, Beasley said.

In a matter of hours, the surface penetrating radar pointed the way to two more, while researchers used an old-fashioned shovel test to prove the case. Both Beasley and Potter said more dwellings may exist, buried beneath the surface.

Knowing the size of the dwellings as well as cataloging and analyzing the artifacts in and around them will help the archaeologists determine how many enslaved people lived there and what their daily lives were like.

“That’s why we’re excited about this, in spite of the adversity, they made lives for themselves,” he said.

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