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Wed Jul 26, 2017, 09:56 AM

Archaeologists Hope to Solve Mystery of 'Maryland 400' With Brooklyn Dig

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Land slated for a prekindergarten could contain a mass grave for Revolutionary War soldiers




Archaeologists Hope to Solve Mystery of ‘Maryland 400’ With Brooklyn Dig
Land slated for a prekindergarten could contain a mass grave for Revolutionary War soldiers



A mural depicting a Revolutionary War soldier overlooks a lot on Ninth Street and Third Avenue in the Park Slope section of Brooklyn. The lot might hold a mass grave where Maryland soldiers were buried after the Battle of Brooklyn in 1776. PHOTO: CAREY WAGNER FOR THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

By Mariana Alfaro
July 24, 2017 4:01 p.m. ET

The last battle of the American Revolution is being waged on an empty lot in Brooklyn. ... The lot, long suspected to hold the mass grave for nearly 260 Maryland Revolutionary War-era soldiers, is set to become a prekindergarten after archaeologists settle the mystery surrounding the soldiers’ final resting place.

In May, the city Education Department bought the land, at Ninth Street and Third Avenue in the Park Slope neighborhood, to build a 180-seat prekindergarten on it.

In response, historians and preservationists pushed the city to pay for an archaeological study of the grounds to determine if a mass grave for the soldiers exists. ... If it does, some believe the land should instead be used to build a memorial for the men who died during the Battle of Brooklyn 241 years ago.

For years, historians and politicians, including former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley, have visited the lot, which is about 13,500 square feet, and paid their respects.

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