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Forgotten Bones. Uncovering a Slave Cemetery

3.89  ·  Rating details ·  160 ratings  ·  66 reviews
Imagine you're watching a backhoe dig up the ground for a construction project when a round object rolls down a pile of dirt and stops at your feet. You pick it up, brush off some dirt, and realize you're holding a skull!

This is exactly what happened in Albany, New York, in 2005. Workers were putting in new sewer line when a backhoe driver dug up a skull. After police dec
Hardcover, 56 pages
Published October 1st 2015 by Lerner Publishing Group Milbrook Press
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3.89  · 
Rating details
 ·  160 ratings  ·  66 reviews

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Sep 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing
There's an incredible amount of very fascinating information crammed into just barely more than 50 pages. It doesn't just cover the excavation of the cemetery that's the main focus of the book (which, I was interested to learn, was on the property of Alexander Hamilton's father-in-law, though the book never makes that connection). It also goes over what this cemetery and others like it in the North have revealed about slavery in northern states.
Autumn Is Azathoth

What a wonderfully engrossing book: detailing the discovery, excavation, and subsequent museum lab work of an overlooked slave cemetery in Albany, New York--only the third such unearthed in the North. Author Lois Miner Huey carefully lays out the timeline, from first appearance of a skull, right along through the archeological work and processing in the lab. But she doesn't stop with that: the history of slavery is recounted
Mar 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2017, history, youth
A construction crew near Albany, NY was digging up the street and found a skull, leading to the discovery of Philip Schuyler's slaves' cemetery. This is an absolutely fascinating look at how the bioarchaelogists do their job with the bones, how they put together their lives, and what their burials mean. They also explained how their faces could be reconstructed, and showed what they looked like. It was written in a very straightforward way, with a ton of information, and it gave details on the o ...more
Forgotten Bones Uncovering a Slave Cemetery is a fascinating look at the process of archaeology, anthropology, bioarchiology, forensic anthropology, facial reconstruction, and a treasure-trove of history concerning slavery in the north. Middle graders will warm to the opening story--how construction workers accidentally discovered a skull. Police, CSI, and archaeologists appear at the scene and soon estimate the bone's age at 100 or more years. Stains indicated the site might contain additional ...more
Aug 27, 2015 rated it liked it
Construction workers discovered a forgotten slave cemetery on what was once the Schuyler Farm in Albany, New York. Archeologists discovered the graves of 14 slaves from the 18th century. From the bones, they were able to find out the ages, sex, diet and place of origin. They were even able to reconstruct what the people might have looked like. Most people don't think about slavery in the North. It did exist, but it a different way than the South. Author Lois Miner Huey does a great job talking a ...more
Jan 12, 2016 rated it really liked it
Slaves in the 'north'? This book will bring this fact to the attention of many who thought slavery only existed in the 'south'. Clear, clean writing explains it and how we learn about it.
Photos, diagrams, and backmatter add to the knowledge base.
The background of each page represents graph paper, an important tool used by archaeologists.
This book will not only expand youngsters' knowledge base, but may get them interested in archaeology.
Dec 30, 2015 rated it really liked it
Jam-packed with lots of interesting facts about archaeology and slave life in the north in the 18th century.
The book Forgotten Bones: Uncovering a Slave Cemetery is a children’s non-fiction book intended for grades 4-8 about the discovery of a slave cemetery in 2005. During the course of a construction project laying sewer lines near Albany, New York, workers uncovered a skull. When it was determined the skull was not from a recent death, archaeologists began investigating the site. Excavations and research revealed it was a small slave cemetery associated with the Schuyler family prior to the 1800s. ...more
Jun 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
In the summer of 2005, near Albany, New York, workers on a
sewer project uncovered something fascinating. The metal jaws of
their machinery had been digging, steadily and obliviously, over
the site of a slave cemetery. The project came to a halt while
research was done, and the site was excavated. This would be only
the third slave cemetery to have ever been discovered in the North,
an amazing find!

Thirteen bodies were recovered, taken to a lab for examination,
and their details recorded. This work was
Brenda Kahn
I found this fascinating. The narrative was well-organized and filled with meticulous detail about the work of archaeologist, the history of slavery in the north and the work of museum curation. I loved the design as well. The background was graph paper, which is so important to the field notes an archaeologist makes. Compelling photos abound - at least one per page. Backmatter includes an author's note, two-page glossary, source notes, a selected bibliography, books and websites and places to v ...more
Mar 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
Forgotten bones is about a construction company that accidentally dug up a skeleton head while working in up state New York. The construction then wants to see if there are more and ends up digging 13 skeletons! With more research about these skeletons They found out that the skeletons they dug up were African American slaves that worked at a nearby farm house. This whole book talks about bones and their history behind them it also includes where they were dug up.
Sep 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is a great book for all ages, not just the younger audience it is intended for. I had heard about the lost cemetery in passing but had never looked into it. This book details each step that the excavation crew went through in order to shed light on who these people were and how they lived. They even hired someone to do facial reconstruction so we could see what they probably looked like. For anyone more interested in archaeologists and lost bones, this is a great read.
May 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
A fascinating look at the lives of slaves as uncovered through some forgotten bones. When construction workers dig up a skull in New York state it is the start of an archaeological excavation of a slave burial ground, giving us a glimpse into northern slave life. There is so much we can learn from seemingly little evidence and information. A Maine Student Book Award nominee for 2017-18.
Nov 12, 2018 rated it liked it
A routine construction project turns into an archaeological discovery. This book looks into the 2005 discovery in Albany, New York of a long-lost slave cemetery. Huey fills the pages of this book with the lesser known history of northern slaves. Great informational book for grades 4-8.

Genre: Nonfiction - Informational
Nov 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfiction
Fascinating nonfiction

This one sits on my library shelf. After having read it, I'm definitely going to try and change that.
Janet Slingerland
Aug 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: history, nonfiction
I really loved this book. It's well-researched, well-structured, and packed with interesting information.
Jul 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
Fascinating piece of local history.
Jul 16, 2017 rated it liked it
Beautifully laid out, well-written and mostly clear. A nice resource book for a specific topic, but I'm puzzled by its presence on the MSBA Nominee list.
Super fascinating.
May 31, 2017 rated it it was ok
wasn't exactly my type of book so it was just okay to me
What happens when old human remains are found? I hope you never have to deal with this conundrum, but it certainly is an interesting one.

Huey outlines the practical elements of discovery - who do you consult, who do you hire, when can they access the remains. etc. Archaeologists begin the process of excavating a site, and Huey gives readers an approachable window into the archaeological work involved. Researchers then bring remains back to the lab to study them, where readers learn about the po
Mar 02, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
An interesting look at what happens when we find bones, how we determine it's a graveyard, find out who the bones belong to, and then facial reconstruction. It also talks about slavery in the north and has a Hamilton connection.
Bruce Gargoyle
I received a digital copy of this title from the publisher via Netgalley.

Ten Second Synopsis:
The accidental unearthing of human remains during routine maintenance turns into a historically significant burial site that sheds light on the lives of those forced into slavery in the United States in the 19th century.

I found this to be a well-researched and highly engaging exploration of archaeology, anthropology and history all wrapped up in a visually enticing package. The easy-to-read text is accom
Sharon Tyler
Nov 23, 2015 rated it really liked it
Forgotten Bones; Uncovering a Slave Cemetery by Lois Miner Huey is the nonfiction book that details the accidental discovery of a cemetery at a construction site, and the archaeological work that resulted.

This particular story begins in Albany, New York, in 2005. Workers were putting in new sewer line when a backhoe driver dug up a skull. After police declared the skull wasn't connected to any recent crimes, a team of archaeologists took a closer look. They determined the skull was from an Afri
Marathon County Public Library
I'm always curious about the past and how important it is recognize the impact the past has on the present. This book, "Forgotten Bones: Uncovering a Slave Cemetery" really piqued my curiosity. I enjoy reading about how these relics from the past are discovered and analyzed. In this case, the cemetery is located near Albany, NY, and discovered during an excavation to lay sewer pipes. The land belonged at one time to a wealthy farmer who owned slaves. The archaeologists were able to discover two ...more
Feb 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Well researched. Great illustrations. Wonderfully thought-out comparisons of three northern slave cemeteries.
Jan 21, 2016 rated it liked it
Read review in its entirety at

History meets science in Lois Miner Huey's, Forgotten Bones: Uncovering a Slave Cemetery. A well-documented, engaging work of non-fiction, Huey introduces readers to an authentic slave cemetery accidentally unearthed in Albany, New York in 2005.

Written in third person with a few first person accounts, Huey easily encompasses readers' attention with informative yet accessible descriptions that will help ease the less knowledge
Feb 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: children-s-books
Very interesting children's non fiction.
Jan 08, 2016 rated it really liked it
Very interesting read about bioarchaeology which focuses on the discovery and analysis of a slave cemetery discovered in New York near Albany in 2005. While the book focuses on what is referred to as the Schuyler Slave cemetery, one learns many concepts about the field of bioarchaeology, how the research is accomplished from the dig through the analysis of the bones in the laboratory, to the recreation of the facial features. I was fascinated with the information regarding the information that c ...more
Janice Forman
Jul 17, 2016 rated it really liked it
In 2005, workers in Albany, New York, excavating for a construction project unearthed a human skull with their backhoe. All work stopped! After police confirmed that the skull wasn't connected to any recent crimes, archaeologists determined that the skull was from an African-American who had died more than 100 years earlier. Ultimately, the archaeologists determined that the skull was part of a body buried in a long-forgotten slave cemetery on land that was once the Schuyler Farm.

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