Community-Based Mortuary Archaeology On Sapelo Island, Georgia

Part of the Sapelo Island project

Author(s): Nicholas Honerkamp; Lindsey Cochran; Ray Crook

Year: 2011


“We can’t swing a shovel without waking someone up.” This quote from a Geechee resident of Sapelo

Island, Georgia expresses her distress about an ongoing problem at Sapelo’s Behavior Cemetery: the presence of unmarked graves and disturbances to them from recently dug graves. It also provided the impetus for a community driven program of mortuary archaeological research focusing on (1) discovering the spatial and temporal parameters of a 19th century slave site within the Cemetery parcel; (2) recording all extant grave markers in the cemetery and making this information accessible; and (3) identifying the presence of unmarked graves through the application of GPR in order to clear areas for future burials. This paper highlights the mutually beneficial nature of a public partnership with archaeologists that directly addresses social and religious priorities of contemporary Gullah-Geechee peoples while simultaneously answering basic questions concerning antebellum Gullah-Geechee life.

Cite this Record

Community-Based Mortuary Archaeology On Sapelo Island, Georgia. Nicholas Honerkamp, Lindsey Cochran, Ray Crook. 2011 ( tDAR id: 366367) ; doi:10.6067/XCV8PC30WS

This Resource is Part of the Following Collections

Spatial Coverage

min long: -81.312; min lat: 31.374 ; max long: -81.151; max lat: 31.564 ;

File Information

  Name Size Creation Date Date Uploaded Access
sha-2011-behavior-final.pdf 3.99mb Sep 8, 2011 11:59:01 AM Public