Updates: January 2016

Sacred Ground Paper at Historical Archaeology Conference

A Sacred Ground Project paper titled "Shockoe Bottom: Changing the public history landscape of Richmond, Virginia" by was read at this morning's session "Digging the River City: Richmond Archaeology Past, Present, and Future" at the Society for Historical Archaeology's annual conference, "A Call to Action: The Past and Future of Historical Archaeology," happening in Washington, D.C. this weekend. This morning's conference session was crafted by scholars from around the state doing past or ongoing research on Richmond's historical resources via archaeology. See session information by clicking here and going to page 89 of the conference program. #SHA2016

Young American landscape architect working on Valongo Wharf, Brazil

“The name Valongo has always had significance and been central to Afro-Brazilian oral history,” says Zewde, “and so it’s always been present in songs and in ritual. And the neighborhood has that presence too — a sort of centrality within Afro-Brazilian tradition. But nobody knew how well preserved the ruins were. I mean, they’re not even ruins. They’re not ruined. They’re there.”

The scale of the slave trade to Brazil is staggering, and dwarfs the "trade" to North America. During the era of slavery, it’s estimated that more Africans were landed in Rio alone than throughout all of North America.

The wharf where the slaves landed in Rio during the 19th century was recently unearthed and it’s fallen to Sara Zewde to design a memorial to the neighborhood’s tragic past.

Zewde is a landscape architect and designer, a 29 year old American, who was born into a family of immigrants from Ethiopia. “They always reminded me of the long-term history of our people,” says Zewde. “They always remind me of this glorious past, and glorious future. And so it’s in it that way that I’ve always approached architecture and working with different people.”

“Everyone has a glorious potential,” she says.