Bioarchaeological Analysis of a Historic North Carolina Family Cemetery

Author(s): Madison Long; Megan Perry

Year: 2019


This is an abstract from the "SAA 2019: General Sessions" session, at the 84th annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology.

The Gause Cemetery at Seaside, located in Sunset Beach, North Carolina, purportedly contains members of a wealthy and influential planter family, the Gause’s, who died during the late 18th and early 19th centuries. In 2017, a Gause descendant requested excavation of the cemetery by East Carolina University as part of an extensive genealogical project that will culminate in restoration of the cemetery. During the first season of excavation, three adult individuals were recovered from the cemetery, and excavation in 2018 uncovered five additional graves containing seven individuals. Six out of the seven individuals recovered in 2018 are subadults, one 6-8 years of age, one 7-8 years of age, another 1.5 years old, and three term infants. All individuals at the site display skeletal evidence of childhood non-specific stress indicators, such as linear enamel hypoplasias in the adults and children, and/or periostitis or porotic hyperostosis in the children. This evidence, along with the simultaneous burial of two of the newborns and the 6-8 year old child in the same grave possibly due to a disease epidemic based on historical evidence, suggests that even "elite" 18th and 19th century landowning families experienced childhood frailty in North Carolina.

Cite this Record

Bioarchaeological Analysis of a Historic North Carolina Family Cemetery. Madison Long, Megan Perry. Presented at The 84th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Albuquerque, NM. 2019 ( tDAR id: 450152)

This Resource is Part of the Following Collections

Spatial Coverage

min long: -93.735; min lat: 24.847 ; max long: -73.389; max lat: 39.572 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 25750