About this Event
Dr. Chelsey Juarez, Assistant Professor
Anthropology, CSU Fresno
Title: Ancestry, health and lived experiences of enslaved Africans in 18th century Charleston Subtitle: An osteobiographical analysis
In February of 2013 during a construction project in downtown Charleston South Carolina, a revolutionary war-era cemetery containing the burials of 36 enslaved individuals was located. This research documents the collaborative work, between the Gullah descendant communities of Charleston, and several scientists including Dr. Juarez to conduct an osteobiographical account of health, ancestry, and region of origin for each individual using isotopic analysis, DNA, archaeological and paleopathological techniques. Using a combination of isotope analysis and DNA, the study demonstrated a mix of African-born individuals from a variety of localities in Africa were buried alongside individuals born in Charleston. Analysis of the burial artifacts and condition of the remains juxtapose the hardships of slavery with the expressions of autonomy present in the burials of each ancestor.
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