Submitted by J.W. Joseph (firstname.lastname@example.org)
The Avondale Burial Place is an unmarked and unrecorded African American burial place in southern Bibb County that Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) encountered during the Sardis Church Road expansion project.
New South Associates was contracted to recover, analyze, and relocate the burial ground, which resulted in the excavation of 101 individuals.
Archaeological analysis indicates the burial ground was most heavily used in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, although there are indicators that this location began as a slave cemetery and was subsequently used by African American tenant farmers. Through census and genealogical research, GDOT and New South were able to identify descendants of the burial community, whose families left the region in the early 20th century in what is known as the Great Migration, when millions of African Americans left the South for jobs in industrial cities of the Northeast and Midwest.
The project website—www.avondaleburialplace.org—contains more information on the project and African American burial customs, and also contains PDFs of the project reports.
GDOT and the FHWA also sponsored a video documentary on the project, prepared by Georgia Public Broadcasting, which can be viewed right here on this website.