By Jessica Campisi and Brandon Griggs, CNN
Months after a Texas school district broke ground on a new technical center, archaeologists there made a surprising discovery: the long-buried remains of 95 people.
The first remains were discovered in February in Sugar Land, a suburb southwest of Houston. And now officials have learned who these people probably were — freed black people forced to work in convict labor camps.
For over a century, these graves were underground and untouched. But the finding that they likely held the remains of slaves, which researchers announced Monday, highlights an era that’s largely forgotten in history — a time when slavery was illegal, but many blacks were essentially still enslaved.
The Sugar Land property is owned by the Fort Bend Independent School District, which is building its new technical school on the land.