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Burial 242 to be of a woman in between the eras of 40 and 50 years old. The excavation uncovered a copper-alloy ring on the woman"s middle finger of her appropriate hand, copper-alloy straight pins on her sternum and lumbar bones, and two coins, one in her best eye and the other on the coffin floor, just beneath the left eye. The coins were established as George II and III halfpennies. This coins were additionally the most likely to be circulating amongst captive Africans throughout this time.

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Placement of this coins is not unique to this site. All burial sites associated with coins to be of older adult of the so late Group, suggesting that this tradition may have actually been embraced toward the latter part of the 18th century and reserved for people at the farther end of the life cycle.

Figure 1 (left) In situ photograph of interment 242, showing a copper coin in the left eye socket (Catalog #1229-B.002) and immediately beneath appropriate eye socket (Catalog #1229-B.001). Range is in inches. Picture by Dennis Seckler


The placement of coins ~ above the dead is likewise not unique to these burial grounds. In Europe and also its phibìc American colonies, coins served as fare for the dead to get across the Jordan River; a practice that may have actually been adjusted from the Greek tradition documented in Virgil"s Aeneid. In England and other european countries, coins were placed on the eyes of the deceased to keep the eyelids closed since it was thought that if the eyes were no shut, the dead would certainly look for and also take who to accompany them come the grave.
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number 2 (above) Coin, copper, from appropriate eye. Interment 242, catalog #1229-B.001. Diameter 27 mm. Picture by Jon Abbott.

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This practice is also found in other African American burial grounds. An instance is Montserrat wherein there was at the very least one funeral that uncovered a single “metal bowl may have acted together a token or fee because that the return that the deceased"s heart to Africa” (Watters 1994:64). In the new York African burial Ground, it appears that the location of coins on the eyes had two purposes. One to be to store the eyes closed when the other was for more spiritual reasons. This practice enabled the African servants in new York to proceed with cultural traditions, even if these heritages were new.
Burial #340
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Artifacts analysis: A woman"s continues to be of about 25-30 years old with transformed teeth, a exercise of the West african population. There are a complete of 111 beads (largest amount uncovered in the excavation) make of cowrie shells, glass, and one bead that amber. Part were worn about the belt .


About Beads in african culture:

Powerful signs denoting crucial passages the life such together marriages. Birth and death. Castle were believed to store wearer indigenous harm and at some suggest use together "money". Together for the their final resting place, they are for the dead together they made your journeys come the afterlife.


Inferences indigenous the mrs in burial #340:

She was probably essential with every the priceless beads to adjust at rest with her. In life, she could have been a respectable number who could cure human being of sickness or even a princess that a tribe who was kidnapped and sold as a slave. Her civilization knew of she identity and they cure her v respect also when castle were much away from your homeland.


Inferences around her life together a slave:

She was born in Africa and also probably taken from Barbados circa 1715-1764. She might have been on "The Eagle", a ship the smuggled 40 servants from Guinea, West African right into Long Island or brand-new York ships indigenous Africa She can have transported through "The Catherine" which carried slaves indigenous Africa to NY and NJ in 1730"s. One point is for certain, she lugged her culture and continues to keep them also hidden from the eye of this foreigners


Burial #332
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Burial 332 organized the stays of a man whose period was calculated with skeletal evaluation to be roughly the ages of 35-50. The most striking function of his interment is the existence of decorative iron nails on the lid the the coffin, i ordered it to form two letters and a number, determined to be "HW" and "38". The coffin lid was separation in 2 lengthwise native the stress of the burial, disturbing the lettering; this deserve to be seen in number 1.

The letters and also numbers taken with each other most most likely are an engraving of the people initials and also age. 38, the period indicated, agrees through the calculated age range. Currently, the are no documents of a guy with the initials H.W. Who is most likely to have actually been buried in the burial Ground, however such records are quiet incomplete.

The visibility of such an engraving is distinct to the funeral Ground. The practice of inscribing coffins v initials and also age at death is noticeable during the 18th and 19th centuries, and suggest that the coffin was intended to it is in displayed, either at the house of the deceased, during the funeral procession, or in ~ the tomb site before interment.