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Discovering history in the Great Dismal Swamp

The Great Dismal Swamp is a National Wildlife Refuge. Archaeologists discovered that it was also once a secret community for people escaping slavery.

SUFFOLK, Va. — Many people are working to learn more about Black history in the United State, and there's a lot of it right here in Hampton Roads.

Take the Great Dismal Swamp, for example: many escaped slaves found refuge there as they traveled north for freedom. Historians say it was a stop in the underground railroad.

Archaeologists recently discovered a secret permanent settlement in the swamp that dates as far back as the 1600s.

These types of settlements are called "Maroon Communities," which were groups of people that came together because individually, they had run away from slavery.

13News Now photographer Stephen Wozny talked to U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director Aurelia Skipwith and Refuge Manager Chris Lowie.

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