FORT BEND COUNTY (CBSNEWS.COM) – Forty-eight sets of remains believed to have been buried between 1878 and 1910 have been exhumed from an unmarked cemetery in Fort Bend County. Bodies at the site, which construction crews discovered in April, likely belonged to African-American prison inmates who were forced to work on plantations.

Artifacts, including chains, have also been uncovered.

(credit: CBS News)

“Some of these chains, especially the ones that date prior to the Industrial Revolution, some of them have swivels on them, which were more than likely utilized in chain gangs,” said Reign Clark, the site’s archaeological project manager.

In all, 95 sets of remains have been found since crews found the cemetery when they started work on building Fort Bend Independent School District’s $59 million career and technical center in Sugar Land.

More than 100 years ago, the suburb south of Houston — now home to shopping malls, residences and Imperial Sugar Co. — was comprised of prison camps and sugar cane plantations.

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