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Afro-Indigenous Burial Ground to be studied: Islanders invited to Manor ceremony Friday

An opening ceremony and blessing will be held at Sylvester Manor on Friday, September 24 at 4 p.m. to begin an archaeological study of the Manor’s Afro-Indigenous Burial Ground. The public are invited to visit the Burial Ground site during the project from Sept. 24 to Sept. 27.

The study is a joint effort of a partnership of Sylvester Manor, the Shinnecock Tribal Nation Graves Protection Warrior Society, Honor Our Indigenous Ancestors, Inc., Unkechaug Nation and representative descendants of tribal people of Long Island.

Under the direction of Dr. Stephen Mrozowski of the University of Massachusetts Boston, the first phase of the Partnership project will be Sept. 24 through 27 and continue the first weekend of October.

The initial archaeological surveying will determine if the burial site is larger than currently described, map the area, and perform advanced ground penetrating radar in an effort to determine how many graves are present.

This project is the first phase of a three-year archaeological study at Sylvester Manor in collaboration with UMass Boston and representatives of the tribes of Long Island.

The study will be partially funded by the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s Hart Family Fund for Small Towns and a federal grant from the 400 Years of African American History Commission.