An Archaeology of Aesthetics: the Socio-Economic and Ideological Elements of Coffin Plate Selection at the Spring Street Presbyterian Church

Author(s): Katherine Hicks

Year: 2013

Summary

Material shifts among decorative coffin fittings reflect how past populations conceptualized death, memory, and social status.  Coffin plates recovered during the excavation of four burial vaults (ca. 1820-1843) associated with the Spring Street Presbyterian Church, New York City, were simple and uniform in design, inscribed only with the names, ages, and death dates of the individuals with whom they were interred.  This paper examines the socio-economic and ideological elements that may have contributed to the selection of simply designed coffin fittings among the Spring Street congregation, in contrast to elaborate coffin fittings recovered from comparative mortuary sites in the United States and England, and the developing garden cemetery movement of the mid-nineteenth century.

Cite this Record

An Archaeology of Aesthetics: the Socio-Economic and Ideological Elements of Coffin Plate Selection at the Spring Street Presbyterian Church. Katherine Hicks. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Leicester, England, U.K. 2013 ( tDAR id: 428686)

This Resource is Part of the Following Collections

Spatial Coverage

min long: -129.199; min lat: 24.495 ; max long: -66.973; max lat: 49.359 ;

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): 601