The Bethel Cemetery Relocation Project: Academic Collaboration, Archaeological Science, and CRM


This is an abstract from the "Archaeological Science Outside the Ivory Tower: Perspectives from CRM" session, at the 84th annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology.

The Bethel Cemetery project combined the best of what the CRM and University communities have to offer, while documenting, exhuming, and relocating over 500 graves from a 19th century cemetery in Indianapolis, IN on an aggressive schedule. Over 30 professionals from the University of Indianapolis and IUPUI were employed by Cardno to execute the field work given faculty and students’ expertise in photogrammetry, bioarchaeology, and human osteology. Structure from motion (SfM) photogrammetry was utilized to document a majority of the burials once exposed via standard excavation practices, resulting in highly accurate documentation, improved efficiency over traditional field mapping techniques, and research-quality, three-dimensional models. Subsequently, the two universities collaborated to complete the osteological analysis of the human remains. Beyond the report that is in preparation, at least four master’s theses will be produced, and the compiled photogrammetry and osteological databases will allow for further research for years to come. The protocols developed have allowed for more in-depth research and technological benefit than is the norm for CRM projects. Meanwhile, the relationships established and techniques developed will last well beyond the current project and provide a multitude of benefits for all stakeholders moving forward.

Cite this Record

The Bethel Cemetery Relocation Project: Academic Collaboration, Archaeological Science, and CRM. Ryan Peterson, Alex Badillo, Joshua Meyers, Jeremy Wilson. Presented at The 84th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Albuquerque, NM. 2019 ( tDAR id: 450540)

Spatial Coverage

min long: -103.975; min lat: 36.598 ; max long: -80.42; max lat: 48.922 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 25248