On May 23, 2019, the University of Georgia’s Office of University Architects (OUA) transmitted to the State Archaeologist the final draft report of Southeastern Archaeological Services (SAS), the expert archaeologist retained by OUA after the inadvertent discovery of remains at the Baldwin Hall construction site by the construction manager, Allstate Construction, in 2015. Baldwin Hall was originally constructed by the Public Works Administration in 1937–38, and its Annex was added in 1942. The project in 2015 further expanded the building and was authorized by the University System of Georgia Board of Regents with funding provided by the Georgia General Assembly.
On August 12, 2019, the report was officially accepted by the state. The completion of this comprehensive report fulfills the final requirement of the 2016 Management Plan approved by the State Archaeologist in accordance with state law. The report includes significant research and detailed analysis of the remains and artifacts discovered at the Baldwin Hall site, and it extends our understanding of the history of the Old Athens Cemetery. In the interest of transparency, the Office of University Architects is making this report immediately available to the community.
The report, which has several co-authors, is the consummation of extensive efforts drawing on multiple resources. The research, analysis, and completion of the final draft report represents an exhaustive and comprehensive account of this matter. In addition to documenting the fieldwork, reinterment, and analysis of all human remains and artifacts discovered at the site, the 834-page final report also includes extensive archival research about the history of the cemetery and surrounding area.
Readers should be advised that the report and its appendix contain some content and images that may be disturbing, including some images previously shown by the media. The University continues to express concern to all who are affected by this matter. It is only through full transparency that we can learn from this difficult situation and continue to honor the legacy of the individuals, most likely slaves and former slaves, whose remains were disturbed by this construction project.