Search for buried slaves at James Madison's Montpelier

FILE - In this April 12, 2017, file photo, a tarp covers an archeological dig site where the original slave kitchen was located at James Madison's Montpelier in Montpelier, Va. Experts, using ground-penetrating radar, at former President James Madison’s Virginia estate are searching for the burial grounds of slaves who worked there. More than 100 slaves lived at the estate at the time of Madison's death, but little is recorded about their lives. Montpelier also is working to restore slave quarters on the site. (AP Photo/Steve Helber, File)

Steve Helber

ORANGE, Va. (AP) — Experts at former President James Madison's Virginia estate are searching for the burial grounds of slaves who worked there.

The Washington Post reports that a team led by James Madison University geophysicist Shane McGary is using ground-penetrating radar and other techniques to identify the gravesites of Montpelier's enslaved population.

More than 100 slaves lived at Montpelier at the time of Madison's death, but little is recorded about their lives. The apparent gravesites a few hundred yards from the mansion are marked with indentations and some scattered headstones but were otherwise forgotten.

Members of the DuPont family, who owned the estate during much of the 20th century, recall kids playing with bones that turned up in the fields.

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Montpelier also is working to restore slave quarters on the site.

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Information from: The Washington Post, http://www.washingtonpost.com

Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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