New York African Burial Ground Project

The W. Montague Cobb Research Laboratory houses the remains of the New York African Burial Ground (NYABG) aThe NYABG is the nation’s earliest and largest African burial ground (LaRoche and Blakey, 1997). The CC is the nation’s third largest skeletal collection of its kind and the only one housed and owned by a Historical Black College and University (HBCU). These previously buried and cadaveric collections respectively, contain biological diversity from the late 17th to the mid-20th century. In the NYABG, we have well-documented, archived biological remnants from 250 individuals, a great source for 17th and 18th century African and African-American based research. 

Along with the remnant skeletal and dental samples from the NYABG, the Cobb Research Laboratory has also acquired five comprehensive and detailed scholarly volumes that stem from decades of bioarchaeological, historical, and skeletal biology research on the NYABG. These scholarly volumes can be accessed below. Our purpose in posting these reports is to encourage supplemental research on this collection that will build on and amplify the existing data and stimulate new approaches to these materials.

 The Cobb Research Laboratory hopes that our posting of these reports will serve as an inspiration to the worldwide research community and encourage our colleagues to cite the contents of these erudite volumes and use them as a basis for their subsequent analyses and interpretations. We encourage the application of “next generation science” and interdisciplinary interpretation to these historic reports (Jackson and Cross, 2015).

We encourage submissions on the New York African Burial Ground through our journal, The Backbone


References Cited:

Jackson F 2015 The Cobb Collection: Current Status and Future Research Directions. Am J Hum Biol.. 2015 Mar 4;27(2):233-4. doi: 10.1002/ajhb.22692.

Jackson F and Cross C 2015 Applying Next Generation Science Standards in the Cobb Research Laboratory. The Backbone vol 1 no. 1 Spring 2015.

LaRoche CJ, Blakey, ML, 1997 Seizing intellectual power: the dialogue of the New York African Burial Ground. In: McDavid C. Babson DW, editors. In the realm of politics, prospects for public participation in African American and plantation archaeology. Vol. 81. Historical Archaeology, 84-106.


Volumes on The African Burial Ground