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Friends of Hopewell Furnace to Explore The First Baptist Church of Philadelphia’s Burial Ground

Jul 24, 2017 • by Friends of Hopewell Furnace
Hopewell Furnace

Union Township—On Sunday, August 13, 2017, the Friends of Hopewell Furnace will host Rutgers Archeologist Kimberlee Sue Moran’s presentation “The First Baptist Church of Philadelphia’s Burial Ground: the problem, project, and people of the past encountered at 218 Arch Street”. The free program will commence at 2 p.m. in the Hopewell Furnace Conference Room.In November of 2016, the Philadelphia Inquirer published an article about bones found at a construction site on Arch Street.  The problem was that, as a private project, no city office was “in charge” of the human remains.  The Mutter Institute, as a collaborative research organization associated with the study of historic human remains, approached the property developer with an interest to learn more about the bones found at the site.  What ensued was a race-against-time excavation of 218 Arch Street, part of the First Baptist Church cemetery, supposedly moved in 1860, and a continuing analysis of the people buried there between 1707 and 1859.  This presentation will provide an overview of the project, what is currently known about the site, and the recovered human remains, and the future work of our multi-disciplinary team.Kimberlee Sue Moran has been a practicing forensic archaeologist since 2002. She holds an undergraduate degree in Classical and Near Eastern archaeology from Bryn Mawr College and a Master’s of Science in forensic archaeological science from the Institute of Archaeology at University College, London.   Her doctoral research is in the field of ancient fingerprints.  Kimberlee worked as a contract archaeologist for a CRM firm based in Trenton, NJ, prior to moving to the UK.  She moved back to New Jersey in 2010 and now works at Rutgers-Camden.  She is an active member of the Society for American Archaeology and is a member of the Register of Professional Archaeologists (RPA).While at Hopewell Furnace National Historic Site visitors are encouraged to explore Hopewell Furnace’s own Bethesda Baptist Church and graveyard, tour the village, hike the trails and  learn about iron making and why Hopewell Furnace is important to our nation’s history. Open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily (now seven days a week thru October), the park is located five miles south of Birdsboro, PA, off of Route 345. For more information stop by the park’s visitor center, call 610-582-8773, visit the park’s web site at, or contact the park by e-mail at [email protected].

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