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“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.
College of Arts and Sciences
University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
Place of Publication
Archaeology -- Georgia -- McIntosh County; Antiquities; Archaeology
Sapelo Island (Ga.); McIntosh County (Ga.) -- Antiquities
F292.M15 C62 2011
Cochran, Lindsey; Honerkamp, Nicholas; and Crook, Ray, "Community-based mortuary archaeology on Sapelo Island, Georgia" (2011). Jeffrey L. Brown Institute of Archaeology Reports. 10.