Discovers Possible Grave At Parking Lot Site
June 5, 2002-- An archaeologist
has discovered what may be an unmarked 19th-century grave on the
site of a planned University of Virginia parking garage, U.Va. officials
survey was conducted as part of pre-construction procedures, said
Colette Sheehy, U.Va.'s vice president for management and budget.
Pending state approvals, construction of the 1,200-car garage along
the railroad tracks near Ivy Road and Emmet Street has been scheduled
to begin in late July.
week, with the guidance of an 1895 deed showing a 32-foot by 32-foot
area reserved for a cemetery on the property, our archaeological
consultant examined several exploratory trenches in the area," Sheehy
said. "So far, he has found changes in the soil and a hand-cut nail
attached to wood fragments that suggest someone may have been buried
here more than 100 years ago."
possible gravesite is located at the back of the property, along
the north edge of the garage's proposed footprint, adjacent to the
said a 1954 deed recording the sale of the property stated that
"said parcel has never been used for burial purposes and is
hereby abandoned by the said parties of the first part for such
purposes." U.Va. purchased the 7.2-acre site, which includes
a former residence near Ivy Road, in 1983.
University is working with the state Department of Historic Resources
(DHR) in performing the due diligence investigation. Over the next
few weeks, the Universitys consultant, Benjamin Ford of Rivanna
Archaeological Consulting, will do further exploration to determine
whether the apparent graveshaft contains human remains and whether
there are other shafts in the area, Sheehy said.
regulations and state law provide that if human remains are found,
they can be removed and reinterred under certain circumstances.
1993, the University discovered the Foster family cemetery while
expanding a small parking lot off Venable Lane. Those 12 graves
were not opened and remain in place. An unmarked gravesite also
was studied and preserved in the mid-1980s near the Gooch-Dillard
dormitories then under construction.
summer, an archaeological survey of the B-1 parking lot on Jefferson
Park Avenue, in advance of the planned College of Arts & Sciences
building there, revealed no sign of graves.
Louise Dudley, (434) 924-1400