The site plan of the African Burial Ground: Archaeologists excavated 14,000 square feet of what was once a six acre cemetery in lower Manhattan. They found 427 bodies between Duane and Reade Streets, a tiny fraction of the 10-20,000 dead believed to have been interred between the late 1600s and 1796. After the cemetery was closed, it was used as a chemical dump, as a source of corpses for medical students, and, eventually, the site for one of the most densely built urban landscapes in the world.
The bodies were buried with their heads to the east, toward the rising sun, an orientation common to African burial practices.
In this plan, the color of the graves indicates characteristics of the deceased:
Red - Male older than 15 years.
Green - Female older than 15 years.
Brown - Adult, sex undetermined.
Striped - Sexual identification probable but not definite.
Blue - An empty casket, perhaps indicating a ritual burial, or a grave plundered for its corpse.
Yellow - Youths between six months and 15 years old.
Orange - Infants less than six months old.
Purple Outlines - Bodies buried without coffins.
Courtesy of the General Services Administration