In the Media : African American historical site excavated in New Jersey

July 2, 2010

By Stephan Salisbury

Inquirer Culture Writer

Near the terminus of a dead-end road, on a bulblike hill in the midst of a grassy meadow, a group of Temple University archaeology students and volunteers is excavating what may be one of the most important African American historical sites in New Jersey.

It’s called Timbuctoo – a once-thriving enclave probably founded by free African Americans and escaped slaves in the 1820s, now abandoned, if not forgotten, for more than half a century.

An entire village lies beneath the grassy hill near Rancocas Creek in Westampton Township outside Mount Holly – at least 18 houses, remains of a church, two roadways, an alley, a number of privies and wells, possibly schools, and large parts of a cemetery, where 13 graves of African American troops from the Civil War are marked by headstones – but where six times as many may lie in unmarked graves.

Read more here.

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