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Discovery of Wren Building Dependency Structure Opens New Story of African-American Role

August 13, 2011

For the second summer in a row, archaeologists at William and Mary have opened new chapters in the history of African-American slaves in Colonial Virginia. Last year, it was the determination that the ROTC office building is the oldest known structure built for the education of African-American children.

This year, while surveying the open area to the south of the Wren Building for sidewalk repairs, they have discovered the foundations of a substantial dependency structure that may have been a kitchen, laundry and/or living quarters for the slaves that made academic life possible for the William and Mary students and professors of the early eighteenth century.

Sidewalk construction has been postponed while the College raises money for a full scale archaeological dig that they hope will be conducted next summer to determine the exact size of the building and purposes it served.

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