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Home https://server7.kproxy.com/servlet/redirect.srv/sruj/smyrwpoii/p2/ US https://server7.kproxy.com/servlet/redirect.srv/sruj/smyrwpoii/p2/ Hundreds of graves from a historic cemetery were found in a Tampa high school

Hundreds of graves from a historic cemetery were found in a Tampa high school



The Hillsborough County school district said Wednesday that geophysical technologies have found "clear evidence" of funerals on the Clarence Leon King High School campus.

School officials believe the caskets were part of the Ridgewood Cemetery, a historical burial place of paupers since the early 1940s owned by the city, according to the Florida Genealogical Society. King High School opened in 1960, according to the school's website.

Tanya Arja, a spokeswoman for the school district, said officers began investigating last month after someone told a school board member of a possible cemetery location.

For about two weeks, district-hired technicians used radar penetration to confirm the location of the caskets. The coffins were buried 3-5 feet deep at about one acre of open ground, and were near a small building used by the school's agricultural program, the district said.

"The radar, in itself, cannot say exactly what's beneath the surface," the district said in a statement. "However, the pattern of the findings matches the historical records of a cemetery site on the site."

Records indicate the site could touch the remains of more than 250 people, nearly all of them African American, the school said.

The area has been fenced since last month and will remain that way for now. The Hillsborough County Medical Examiner and state archaeologists are expected to review the district's findings within the next 30 days. Agencies will decide whether they will own the land or return it to the school district, officials said.

This is not the first time that a forgotten tomb has been discovered in the city. In September, residents of an apartment complex in Tampa were forced to move after learning they were staying at the site of Zion Cemetery ̵
1; probably the first American burial ground in the city, CNN affiliate WFTS reported.

Since then. the Tampa Housing Authority is working to move about 100 residents of Robles Park Village.

When asked about two burial grounds on Wednesday, Ashley Bauman, a spokeswoman for the City of Tampa, postponed all inquiries to the school district.

Yvette Lewis, president of the Hillsborough branch of the NAACP, told CNN affiliate WFLA that he was sad to learn that another site had been discovered.

"I'm sick of it. It's painful. It's deep. It's thrown away and nobody tells our history. No one tells the history of these people and this story of people," Lewis said.


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