The Archaeology of American Cemeteries and Gravemarkers

Sherene Baugher and Richard F. Veit

Foreword by Michael S. Nassaney
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"A masterful overview of archaeological work on American gravestones and cemeteries that should be on the shelf of every student and scholar of mortuary studies."--Lynn Rainville, author of Hidden History: African-American Cemeteries in Virginia

"A landmark publication that synthesizes for the first time the massive amount of research on historic mortuary archaeology, especially monuments, across America. An essential text for many archaeologists, art historians, and cultural anthropolgists."--Harold Mytum, coeditor of Prisoners of War: Archaeology, Memory, and Heritage of 19th- and 20th-Century Mass Internment


Gravestones, cemeteries, and memorial markers offer fixed points in time to examine Americans’ changing attitudes toward death and dying. In tracing the evolution of commemorative practices from the seventeenth century to the present, Sherene Baugher and Richard Veit offer insights into our transformation from a preindustrial and agricultural to an industrial, capitalist country.

Paying particular attention to populations often overlooked in the historical record--African Americans, Native Americans, and immigrant groups--the authors also address the legal, logistical, and ethical issues that confront field researchers who conduct cemetery excavations. Baugher and Veit reveal how gender, race, ethnicity, and class have shaped the cultural landscapes of burial grounds and summarize knowledge gleaned from the archaeological study of human remains and the material goods interred with the deceased.

From the practices of historic period Native American groups to elite mausoleums, and from almshouse mass graves to the rise in popularity of green burials today, The Archaeology of Cemeteries and Gravemarkers provides an overview of the many facets of this fascinating topic.

Sherene Baugher, professor of archaeology at Cornell University, is the coeditor of Archaeology and Preservation of Gendered Landscapes. Richard F. Veit is professor of anthropology at Monmouth University and the coauthor of New Jersey Cemeteries and Tombstones: History in the Landscape.
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Captures the essence of monument and cemetery research as it has developed over the past half-century.-- CHOICE

Belongs on the shelf of every cemetery researcher.-- Illinois Archaeology

Serves as a thorough primer for those interested in mortuary studies and an important resource for experienced practitioners and scholars. It synthesizes the great wealth of post-Deetz and Dethlefsen investigations and successfully unites many interdisciplinary approaches. Journal of Anthropological Research

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