In 2012, workers building a road on the University of Mississippi Medical Center campus came across human remains. They belonged to a cemetery that had once been attached to the Mississippi State Lunatic Asylum, which operated as a treatment center for mentally ill people from 1855-1935. The Department of Anthropology at Mississippi State University, working with the medical center, ultimately exhumed 66 unidentified graves—a small percentage of what are thought to be 7,000 people buried nearby. Now, NEH funding is supporting the University of Mississippi Medical Center’s Asylum Hill project, which is tasked with building connections with descendants of people treated at asylum and ultimately memorializing those buried in its cemetery.
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