Six Impossible Things before Breakfast: Understanding Space and Place at the Milwaukee County Poor Farm Cemetery
From 1878 through 1974 Milwaukee County utilized four locations on the Milwaukee County Grounds for burial of more than 7,000 individuals, primarily paupers, the institutionalized, and the unidentified. Two archaeological excavations in 1991 and 1992 and again in 2013 resulted in the recovery of over 2,400 individuals from one of those cemetery locations. A comprehensive understanding of the spatial organization and use life of this site has been complicated by the cemetery’s history of anonymization and neglect. Nevertheless, the identification of specific ‘keystone’ individuals has proved possible, providing a fruitful avenue of inquiry to discern burial patterning and internal dates through comparison with the Register of Burial, a document that outlines date of burial and grave location. Strontium isotope analysis has been successfully utilized as part of a multifaceted tool kit to identify individuals in both expected and unanticipated ways. This paper presents several case studies featuring the contributions of strontium research to successful identifications and thereby our understanding of space and place at the Milwaukee County Poor Farm Cemetery.
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Six Impossible Things before Breakfast: Understanding Space and Place at the Milwaukee County Poor Farm Cemetery. Shannon Freire, Patricia Richards, Brooke Drew. Presented at The 82nd Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Washington, DC. 2018 ( tDAR id: 444619)
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min long: -103.975; min lat: 36.598 ; max long: -80.42; max lat: 48.922 ;
Abstract Id(s): 20120