Congressional Cemetery: Before renovation

Photo by Chip Clark / Smithsonian Institution
June 11, 2014
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Congressional Cemetery
Photo by Chip Clark / Smithsonian Institution

Prior to the successful renovation of the semi-subterranean Causten vault, dampness paired with the natural deterioration of a wooden platform and coffins dating to the 19th-century resulted in a three-foot-deep matrix containing wood and human remains. On June 11, ancestors of the Shriver family were reinterred in Historic Congressional Cemetery's restored 1835 Causten vault, a historic burial site analyzed by National Museum of Natural History forensic anthropologist Douglas Owsley and a team of researchers. (Photo by Chip Clark / Smithsonian Institution)