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Remote Sensing as a Method of Promoting Group Identity: Rediscovering Edinburg’s African-American Cemetery

Author(s): Rolando Silva

Year: 2015

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Summary

Remote Sensing as a Method of Promoting Group Identity: Rediscovering Edinburg’s African-American Cemetery

Roland Silva, Anthro Graduate-University of Texas Rio Grande Valley

Edinburg, Texas was founded in 1909 some fifteen miles north of the Rio Grande in the then newly irrigated "Magic Valley." A decade later Hillcrest Memorial Park Cemetery was established, with a remote corner of the burial ground allocated for African-Americans. Many of the earliest people interred hailed from rural households, and so due to a lower socio-economic status, some graves had no markers. Concerned citizens and the descendants of the deceased have since taken to assisting grounds keeping at the cemetery, placing historic markers and new burials. Unfortunately, there are still men and women identified only by memorial homage. To offer service towards this issue, in the Spring of 2013 a remote sensing survey using ground-penetrating radar (GPR) was conducted to attempt categorization of the burials and their condition in the environment, as part of a larger methodological study considering the utility of a remote sensing equipment for archaeogeological research in the Rio Grande Valley. This fieldwork benefits from the support of the community and will shed light on a largely forgotten founding minority population.

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Remote Sensing as a Method of Promoting Group Identity: Rediscovering Edinburg’s African-American Cemetery. Rolando Silva. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 398396)


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Spatial Coverage

min long: -115.532; min lat: 30.676 ; max long: -102.349; max lat: 42.033 ;

Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America