When archaeologist Ayana Omilade Flewellen is excavating a site, they are in pursuit not only of artifacts but also of signs of humanity. More precisely, they are looking for physical evidence left by enslaved Africans and their descendants of lives lived, love bestowed and fates crushed or graced with good fortune. For Flewellen, an assistant professor of archaeology at Stanford University, retrieving that evidence is about more than archaeological discovery. It is an exercise in dismantling dominant narratives about Black This story is from Kinfolk Issue Forty-Five Buy Now Related Stories Arts & Culture Garden Issue 45 Piet Oudolf The Dutch designer bringing life—and death—to traditional gardens. Arts & Culture Issue 45 Thomas MacDonell The conservationist transforming the Highlands. Arts & Culture Issue 45 Cara Marie Piazza The New Yorker wringing color from the city's waste and weeds. Arts & Culture Issue 45 Gabe Verduzco A microscopic tour of California’s beetles and botanicals. Arts & Culture Issue 45 Ella Al-Shamahi The scientist digging for history in the world’s most hostile landscapes. Arts & Culture Issue 40 Space Junk In conversation with a space archaeologist.