суббота, 6 июля 2019 г.

Colonial-era slave cemetery studied in Peru

Occasionally, archaeologists provide information about findings related to elites from different periods, but Luis Santa Cruz has proposed something different: to study the way a neglected population —African slaves and Afro-descendants— used to live in the Colonial era. To that end, he chose a location that provided evidence of a cemetery for people of this social group.











Colonial-era slave cemetery studied in Peru
Credit: Andina

A study by Julio Luna Obregon — Ephigenia, the black saint: a brief historical tale on the Afro-descendant saint’s religious practices and Afro-descendant roots in Cañete — stated that, based on documents from La Buena Muerte Convent, slaves had been buried somewhere in La Quebrada estate.
This assertion was confirmed in 2017, and archaeological works started last year, shedding light on the life of slaves in Peru.











Colonial-era slave cemetery studied in Peru
Credit: Andina

Santa Cruz told Andina news agency that the type of soil where these bodies were buried has not been conductive to preservation of much of the material and bones. However, a lot of information can be extracted from skeletal remains.
He says dental modifications —a common practice among African ethnic groups at that time— reveal the continent of origin of the buried persons.











Colonial-era slave cemetery studied in Peru
Credit: Andina

Likewise, he said the conditions of the bones can give more detailed information about their health, for example, their back problems caused by hard work and generalized malnutrition.
Archaeologists found remnants of cloth, so they believe a piece of sheet was placed over their body before being covered with a thin layer of soil during their burial.











Colonial-era slave cemetery studied in Peru
Credit: Andina

The unearthed material is expected to provide evidence of the African region they had come from and, in a couple of years, reconstruct the face of some of them. It must be noted this cemetery was used between 1748 and 1817.


Additionally, locals told archaeologists that some graves were unveiled during the 7.9-magnitude earthquake in 2007.


The remains were relocated within the area and found by the Santa Cruz team in 2018.


Source: Andina [June 29, 2019]



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