On Monday, March 11, 2002, construction workers at the site of the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet’s new office building noticed human bones in some soil waiting to be taken to the landfill. Since relocation of the building was not an option, the Finance Administration worked with the Kentucky Archaeological Survey to document and relocate all of the graves. For the next three months, a team of archaeologists, biological anthropologists, and volunteers excavated the remains of 242 people.
As a result of this research, we now know when the Cemetery was used, have a sense of who was buried there, their diet, and their health. Documents, a critical element of historical archaeological research, were extremely scarce; and no one offered oral accounts that made reference to the Cemetery or came forward to claim any of the human remains. So, to learn about the people buried in the graveyard, investigators had to rely on the information they had recovered: each person’s skeletal remains, the personal items placed with or worn by them, the characteristics of their coffins, and the location of their graves.