Mortuary Research at Behavior Cemetery (9MC498), Sapelo Island, Georgia

Part of the Sapelo Island project

Author(s): Nicholas Honerkamp; Morgan Crook, Jr.

Year: 2010


“We can’t swing a shovel without waking someone up.”

This statement, made by a Gullah-Geechee resident of the Hog Hammock community on Sapelo Island, Georgia, is important for two reasons. First, it speaks to an increasingly common problem occurring at the Island’s Behavior Cemetery: the presence of unmarked graves and disturbances to them from attempts to dig new graves. Second, it provided the impetus for a community-driven program of mortuary archaeological research at Behavior by the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga (UTC). This research focused on three goals that were generated through conversations with the residents of Hog Hammock: (1) to record all extant grave markers in the c. five acre Cemetery and to make this information accessible to the local community; (2) to identify the presence of unmarked graves through the application of Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) in order to clear areas for future burials; and (3) to discover and record the spatial and temporal parameters of a 19th century slave site within the Cemetery parcel. All three of these goals were achieved, and the rest of this paper explains how they were met.

Cite this Record

Mortuary Research at Behavior Cemetery (9MC498), Sapelo Island, Georgia. Nicholas Honerkamp, Morgan Crook, Jr.. 2010 ( tDAR id: 371562) ; doi:10.6067/XCV8474840

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 ;

Individual & Institutional Roles

Contact(s): Rachel Black

File Information

  Name Size Creation Date Date Uploaded Access
behavior-final-report.pdf 2.86mb Nov 1, 2011 7:01:40 AM Public