FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — East Mountain Cemetery holds the history of Fayetteville’s past and a recently discovered grave reveals there’s still much to learn about what lies beneath.
Jared Pebworth with the Arkansas Archeological Survey helped discover the previously unknown grave.
“Knowing that there was unmarked graves in this area, I was curious, that’s what we get paid for to be curious,” Pebworth said. “I decided I would just dig down a little bit near the stake just to see, to establish if it was a natural stone or not and it just so happened to come down right on the name of an unmarked grave.”
Sharon Killian with NWA Black Heritage said the cemetery represents the all encompassing past and future of Fayetteville. It holds Fayetteville’s history before, during and after the Civil War.
“The cemetery itself is a reflection of the society that we live in, that we lived in then and where we are today,” Killian said.
Killian said the cemetery is important for Black heritage in the area with African Americans buried there.
“There are just three headstones here of Black people that we know that are accurately marked, but we also know that there are unmarked graves here,” Killian said.
Pebworth said the recently discovered grave is most likely not the only unknown grave at the cemetery.
“There’s probably many unmarked graves out here or graves that are just below the surface with 150 years of periods of neglect to the cemetery erosion, just weather, ice storms really put a hurting on this particular location,” Pebworth said.
Unearthing the grave is just part of the discoveries that could be found in the cemetery. The Archeological Survey and the NWA Black Heritage will continue to learn more about what lies beneath.