From the 1760s until the Civil War, escaped enslaved people—sometimes known as maroons—made their homes in the Great Dismal Swamp, located on the border of Virginia and North Carolina. Its dense thickets, scorching heat, and poisonous snakes kept slave-catchers out—and freedom-seekers in. For the past decade, archaeologist Dan Sayers of American University has been studying the swamp, looking for remnants of the self-sufficient communities that once lived there. Recently, Great Big Story caught up with him and historian Eric Sheppard, whose ancestor, Moses Grandy, is believed to have found refuge in the swamp. You can find out more about their amazing stories in the video below.