"This thesis focuses on the African Burial Ground in Lower Manhattan from its discovery in 1991 to the present. Uncovered during excavations for a federal office building, today a small portion of the site serves as the symbolic marker for the larger burial ground beneath (Figs. 1-3). Following efforts to stabilize and preserve the site, the construction of a permanent monument is currently underway at the corner of Duane and Elk Streets. This thesis examines the process through which the Burial Ground has been created as a historic site and the implications of this process for its physical form and administration. Specifically, this thesis will seek to address: how receptions of a site— ideas about its value, meaning and significance—transform over time; how cultural and political forces, particularly the contemporary politics of identity, shape reception; how controversy emerges and affects a site; and how these factors combine to influence site planning, design, interpretation, and stewardship."