TCNJ Magazine Fall 2019

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36 The College of New Jersey Magazine Soon more coffins were found in another section of the site. An engineering firm was hired by the developer to excavate, and each day, all summer long, Leader or Moran drove to Arch Street to pick up new remains and ferry them to a makeshift lab set up in a Burlington County, New Jersey, warehouse. To drum up public support for the project and fund the supplies needed to clean the bones, the Arch Street team began speaking at lunch clubs, museums, and scientific societies across the mid-Atlantic. During one cocktail party at the Mütter Museum, Leader and Beatrice set up a table and sold Arch Street Project T-shirts to the guests. After TCNJ agreed to temporarily house the remains and collection of artifacts, they Before the Arch Street discovery, each professor juggled teaching duties and busy fieldwork schedules abroad: Leader's longtime focus is human evolutionary archaeology in South Africa, while Beatrice researches what bones reveal about health status and living conditions across ancient and present-day populations, from medieval Italy to the 21st-century U.S.-Mexico border. Now, both Leader and Beatrice are rushing to understand the story of Arch Street in the time they have left. Last year, the Philadelphia Orphans' Court, which oversees abandoned cemeteries, granted them until 2023 to study the remains before they are reburied "While cemeteries are often inadvertently rediscovered during construction projects, the Arch Street cemetery is unusual both for its large size and, more importantly, for the incredible preservation both of the human remains and of the associated artifacts," Veit says. "It's the sort of thing one sees very, very rarely." For Leader and Beatrice, the once-in-a-lifetime project began with Leader's spontaneous bicycle ride to Arch Street where he met Kimberlee Moran, a forensic archaeologist from Rutgers University– Camden who asked him to stick around. Moran was first on the scene when construc- tion workers found loose bones in the fall of 2016. Because it was privately owned land, city organi- zations claimed they had no jurisdiction over the remains. "We feel, and our students feel, this huge responsibility and sense of awe about working on these Glass coat buttons provide a glimpse of personal wealth of an adult male. "Everybody was saying 'It's not my problem,'" Moran says. "And I thought, 'I'd be happy to make this my problem. I would like to see those bones.'" Moran called Anna Dhody, curator and director of the research institute at the Mütter Museum, a medical museum at the College of Physicians in Philadelphia, and the two convinced the developer, PMC Property Group, to let them monitor from the site's edge in case the backhoes brought up more bones. After coffins were uncovered, they organized the emergency excavation where Leader found them. Beatrice, who specializes in skeletons, was quickly looped in. Fearing for the future of the bones, the four founded the Arch Street Project in April 2017 to ensure the remains were properly handled and reburied. rented a U-Haul and moved it all to campus. "This project could not have happened without George and Jared," Moran says. "I'm eternally grateful they allowed themselves to be sucked in." in Philadelphia's Mount Moriah Cemetery, where they were meant to be reinterred in 1860. One day this summer, the two stood over a pair of partially intact skeletons in the Social Sciences Building and considered the scope of the project. Much work lies ahead, especially for Beatrice, as many of the individual remains still need to be cleaned before any analysis can even begin. "When I'm feeling really stressed, I just take a step back and remind myself it's such a unique thing to get to do," Beatrice says. "In a lot of ways, it's A tortoiseshell comb found at the back of an adult female's cranium probably held her styled hair in place.

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