Project 1 – Cemeteries and Social Practices
A typical cemetery, with large historic headstones.The topic of this project is mortuary practices, or how we treat the dead. The treatment of the dead plays a
key role in every culture. It is part of what makes us human and it has changed through time. Analyzing cemeteries is an important aspect of modern
archaeology and can provide information about changing social practices through time. Each student will visit a historic cemetery of their choosing (if the
cemetery chosen has both modern and historic sections, only the historic area of the cemetery should be examined). The portion of the cemetery under
inspection must pre-date 1950 and have at least ten (10) intact gravestones/monuments.
Your task is to visit a cemetery and absorb the look and feel of the space. While doing so, you should take notes, make sketches, take photographs, and/or
use other means to record your information. Your paper should address all of the following;
The location of the cemetery
Why you chose this location
How you conducted your visit
How you collected your information, and
A summary of your results
Additionally, the paper should also answer three or more of the questions listed below:
How are the stones organized? Are they individual or family plots? Haphazardly or formally organized?
Do the epitaphs change over time? Is there decoration on them?
Are there monuments? Do they date to the same time? Do they all look the same (i.e., stone type, structure, location, etc.)?
Without the dates present on the stones, could you align the stones in relative order? What traits would you chose to follow through time?
Is there evidence of social ranking, class, or gender in the cemetery?
Are cemeteries for the dead or the living?
Each student must submit their completed project paper on Canvas. The format for the paper should be as follows:
Your name, course and section number in top right corner, single spaced
1-inch margins on all sides
10 to 12 pt. font and double-spaced for the text
3 to 4 pages length
Include scans of notes if hand-written and other data such as sketches or maps
Citations and sources should be in MLA or APA styles
Submit the review in pdf, doc, or docx formats only!