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"A Proper and Honorable Place of Retreat for the Sick Poor": Bioarchaeology of Philadelphia’s Blockley Almshouse Cemetery

Author(s): Kimberly A Morrell ; Thomas A Crist ; Douglas B. Mooney

Year: 2017

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Summary

Philadelphia’s Blockley Almshouse served as one of the primary centers of medical education in nineteenth-century America.  Operating between 1835 and 1905, "Old Blockley" was served by some of the era’s most prominent physicians, including the "father of modern medicine" Sir William Osler, and Elizabeth Blackwell, the first woman to earn a medical degree in the United States.  Excavation of one of the almshouse’s two cemeteries in 2001 revealed over 400 graves and thousands of anatomical specimens and surgical waste, attesting to the use of the almshouse residents as resources for Philadelphia’s medical students and their professors.  This presentation provides an overview of the archaeology of the site and the demography and paleopathology of the people whose remains had lain forgotten for more than a century.


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Cite this Record

"A Proper and Honorable Place of Retreat for the Sick Poor": Bioarchaeology of Philadelphia’s Blockley Almshouse Cemetery. Kimberly A Morrell, Thomas A Crist, Douglas B. Mooney. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Fort Worth, TX. 2017 ( tDAR id: 435457)


Keywords

Temporal Keywords
1835 - 1905


Spatial Coverage

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

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): 472

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