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Abstract

“We can’t swing a shovel without waking someone up.” This quote from a Geechee resident of Sapelo Island, Georgia expresses her distress about an ongoing problem at Sapelo’s Behavior Cemetery: the presence of unmarked graves and disturbances to them from recently dug graves. It also provided the impetus for a communitydriven program of mortuary archaeological research focusing on (1) discovering the spatial and temporal parameters of a 19th century slave site within the Cemetery parcel; (2) recording all extant grave markers in the cemetery and making this information accessible; and (3) identifying the presence of unmarked graves through the application of GPR in order to clear areas for future burials. This paper highlights the mutually beneficial nature of a public partnership with archaeologists that directly addresses social and religious priorities of contemporary Gullah-Geechee peoples while simultaneously answering basic questions concerning antebellum Gullah-Geechee life.

Department

Dept. of Social, Cultural, and Justice Studies

College

College of Arts and Sciences

Publisher

University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

Place of Publication

Chattanooga (Tenn.)

Date

1-7-2011

Subject

Archaeology--Georgia--McIntosh County; Antiquities; Archaeology; McIntosh County (Ga.)--Antiquities

Location

Sapelo Island (Ga.)

Document Type

reports

Extent

17 leaves

Language

English

Call Number

F292.M15 C62 2011

Rights

Under copyright.

Community-based mortuary archaeology on Sapelo Island, Georgia

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