State transportation officials are wrapping up a graveyard archeology project in Macon. More than 100 graves will be dedicated after being reinterred in Byron.
Archeologists contracted by the Georgia Department of Transportation began removing the bodies in 2008 to make way for a road widening project along Sardis Church Road. Artifacts show the graves belong to African-American tenant farmers from the late 1800’s.
Hugh Matternes is a mortuary archeologist with New South Associates. He says they found many artifacts including amulets and charms.
“We found a number of children were buried with beads which in African traditions are very powerful tools for bringing luck and for promoting good health.”
Genetic testing was conducted on the remains as well. Many people believed to be descendents are expected to attend the ceremony at the Bethel AME Church in Byron.