Cemeteries and sites with human burials require compliance with state and federal regulations, as well as respectful interaction with descendent communities. New South Associates’ Mortuary Archaeology Program offers the services of mortuary archaeologists, physical anthropologists, historians, and remote sensing specialists trained in the identification, documentation, analysis, and recovery of cemeteries and prehistoric and historic burials.
Cemeteries often can be unknown until inadvertently discovered. Cemetery surveys are useful for identifying cemeteries and determining the locations of unmarked graves. By employing a suite of techniques ranging from ground penetrating radar to testing with steel probes, New South Associates can identify graves in a variety of environments and soils. New South Associates’ mortuary archaeologists are also experienced in the recovery of burials when modern land use requires cemetery relocation. Where cemeteries are determined eligible for the National Register of Historic Places, our physical anthropologists can provide detailed analysis of skeletal elements and interpret the scientific data that human remains contain regarding age at death, race, sex, quality of life, and population structure.
In addition to the identification, relocation, and recovery of cemetery sites, New South Associates’ Mortuary Archaeology Program also offers services in historic cemetery management, mapping, and the creation of cemetery data records. Many communities are recognizing their historic cemeteries as important parts of their cultural landscapes with both community and heritage tourism values. New South Associates assists the preservation and management of historic cemeteries by providing documentation services, including mapping and recording; conditions assessments and restoration recommendations; and interpretive planning. Our staff has training in cemetery restoration from the National Preservation Institute, and our firm is highly regarded for its work with historic cemeteries.