NY historic site's skeletons still hold mystery

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ALBANY, N.Y. — They ranged in age from 20 to 45, stood between just over 5 feet 3 inches to 5 feet 9 inches tall, and most of them were male and intact, except for the one missing its skull.

Five years after human skeletons were uncovered on a historic island in the upper Hudson River by a husband-and-wife team of amateur archaeologists, New York state officials are revealing what professional archaeologists learned from the remains.

Evidence found in seven unmarked graves unearthed on Rogers Island in 2006 suggests the site was a military cemetery during the French and Indian War, according to archaeologists at the New York State Museum, which was contracted by the property's owner to examine the remains. The state Department of Education, which operates the museum, recently released the archaeologists' findings to The Associated Press.

Christina Rieth, the state's chief archaeologist, believes the site in the village of Fort Edward likely contains a large cemetery dating back to the 1750s, when Britain established its largest fortification in North America on the east bank of the upper Hudson, 45 miles north of Albany. Lisa Anderson, one of the state archaeologists who examined the remains, agreed....

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