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PHILADELPHIA, PA, March 29, 2017 – After conducting an emergency rescue of dozens of coffins discovered underneath a construction site in Philadelphia, The Mütter Institute has launched a special crowdfunding appeal to raise funds to analyze and respectfully reinter the human remains.
Earlier this month, a team of forensics volunteers raced against time to safely remove the remains of over 100 early Philadelphians found by developers at 218 Arch St.
Now the next phase of the rescue operation is the analysis and dignified reinterment of the remains. The Mütter Institute hopes to raise funding after the volunteer project captured the interest of the public and The Mütter Museum’s social media following.
“The excavation was just the beginning of the project,” said Anna Dhody, Director of The Mütter Institute, “It will take months, if not years to conduct all the cleaning and analysis of the remains. And it will take the financial support of our community, both local and far-reaching, to contribute to this endeavor.”
“Donors will be able to track the progress of the project online and on social media where we will document and share our process, from the movement of the remains to a new storage facility, to the analysis, and ultimately, the reinterment at Mount Moriah Cemetery. We want to share this learning experience with our donors and followers. We want you to know where and how your donations are being used and how important your support is to our efforts.”
“These are our ancestors. This is our history. They may have lived through, or died during, some of Philadelphia’s major public health crises; the yellow fever epidemic of 1793, or the cholera epidemics of 1832 or 1849. We may be able to determine if any of the individuals died of these diseases by examining the remains and researching the city’s archives.”
Supporters of the project can give easily online at http://muttr.org/ArchStGive. To thank donors, The Mütter Institute is offering exclusive access to a future event on the project’s progress, along with limited private basement tours of the Mütter Museum’s behind-the-scenes collections.
The Mütter Museum helps the public appreciate the mysteries and beauty of the human body while understanding the history of diagnosis and treatment of disease.