A Tale of Two Cemeteries: Death and Bereavement in Late 19th Century Central Florida

Author(s): Theresa J. Gallo; Diane Wallman

Year: 2020


This is an abstract from the session entitled "Mortuary Monuments and Archaeology: Current Research" , at the 2020 annual meeting of the Society for Historical Archaeology.

Cemeteries are important reservoirs of historic and cultural information, and the anthropological study of these spaces provide insights into their religious, symbolic, and cultural significance. Cemeteries also give insight into health, morbidity, and mortality in the past. This research examines two late-19th century cemeteries in the towns of Ellenton and Palmetto in Manatee County, Florida to explore late Victorian mortuary practices. The prevailing Christian view of death during this cultural period focused primarily on family reunion in heaven, and expressive bereavement. Cemeteries were often family plots or congested church graveyards, presented as meticulously designed public burial grounds where landscapes, paved pathways, statues, and grave markers supported the afterlife as a restful garden. In this paper, we examine mortuary practices in two Victorian-era cemeteries, one established as the town burial ground, and the other as a “yellow fever cemetery,” to better understand local responses to illness, death, and bereavement.

Cite this Record

A Tale of Two Cemeteries: Death and Bereavement in Late 19th Century Central Florida. Theresa J. Gallo, Diane Wallman. 2020 ( tDAR id: 457135)

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Spatial Coverage

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

Individual & Institutional Roles

Contact(s): Society for Historical Archaeology

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): 575