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Backhoe operator uncovers cemetery

Published: Monday, July 1, 2013 1:15 a.m. CDT

PRAIRIETOWN (AP) — A historic cemetery was uncovered in southern Illinois during work to build a new water line.

A backhoe operator was digging a trench for the water line when the gravestones were uncovered just off Route 159 near Prairietown last week.Fosterburg Water District officials called project engineers, who notified the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency, The Telegraph in Alton reports.

Anthropologist Dawn Cobb investigated. She says there was a cemetery in the area in 1873 and a church in 1892. The backhoe uncovered broken and fallen markers covered with honeysuckle and poison ivy, and more digging uncovered the outline of a coffin, she said.

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