Thomas Klatka's Notes from the Field
September 29, 2004
Just a quick update on our progress with the investigations of the slave cemetery at Kentland. Work today focused on mapping the four grave shafts uncovered in Trench 1 and continued work with shovel and trowel in Trench 2. Trench 2 is perhaps 75%-80% complete and it holds five additional grave shafts. We expect to finish scraping the trench tomorrow and it seems reasonable to say that one or more additional grave shafts will be identified.
Though all of the uncovered grave shafts are oriented to the general eastern direction, it is noteworthy that their celestial orientation exhibits pronounced variation. While we have not yet mapped this variation, the orientation of the graves appears to vary from about 50 degree east of north to over 120 degrees east of north. It is also noteworthy that the identified graves do not seem to be aligned in formal rows. Of particular interest is one grave shaft identified today that is oriented almost north to south. While the literature offers various explanations for this type of break in spiritual tradition, the application of any explanation to a particular case boils down to speculation. I hope the Wake Forest community provides an explanation grounded in community consensus.
On the agenda for tomorrow is to finish scraping Trench 2 and continue mapping the graves in Trench 1. We will probably begin to scrape Trench 3 in the northwest part of the project area.