Urban Archaeology Session 9: Cemeteries


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Urban Archaeology Session 9: Cemeteries

  1. 1. CemeteriesUrban Archaeology Session 9
  2. 2. How did the grave develop? Kevin Hale, geograph.org.uk
  3. 3. The Development of the Grave• Following the Reformation headstones became more popular but were still the preserve of the wealthy.• They increase in popularity until they become almost ubiquitous during the 19th century.
  4. 4. Significance of Cemetery• Churchyards dominate from 8th Century AD until 1850s• 1820s – Beginning of private cemeteries (business ventures)• 1830-40s and more in the 1850s – Public cemeteries (Roman model of town outskirts)• What can cemeteries or churchyards tell us? – Nature of a community – Changes in a community – Individuals in a community
  5. 5. The Cemetery• English Heritage definition: – Churchyards: a burial ground around a church or other – place of worship – Burial grounds: a pre-Victorian place of burial without a – place of worship – Cemeteries: a landscaped place of burial• See also the Cemetery Research Group’s definitionhttp://www.york.ac.uk/chp/crg/cemeterydef.htm• 1650s+ - NonConformist grounds founded, followed by Quaker and Jewish• In 2006, the Ministry of Justice Burial Grounds Survey found just under 10,000 burial groundshttp://www.justice.gov.uk/statistics/previous-stats/burial-grounds-survey
  6. 6. Whole CommunityLocations of graves in churchyards tell us about thesocial status of the individual:• Church internment (and the closer to main altar the better) or in private chapel/crypts – wealthy / political significance• Eastern side of churchyard – higher classes• Southern side – lesser status• Northern corner – unbaptized, suicide, excommunicated
  7. 7. Headstone styles• 17th Century, personal inscriptions begin• 18th Century, higher status individuals being being buried outside of the church, so from here onwards, more elaborate memorials exist
  8. 8. 17th Century (Left) © Copyright Walter Baxter
  9. 9. 18th Century Wikipedia.com
  10. 10. 19th Century
  11. 11. 20th Century
  12. 12. 17th Century 18th Century 19th Century 20th CenturyAll about mortality. Imagery remains Fewer skulls! Explosion of imagesSkulls, hour glasses, similar. Symbols of influenced by rapidbones, turf cutters, salvation and stylistic change.winged faces. afterlife. Anchors,Occupational Urns and CrossesSymbols are very CommonOften smaller, Stones become Symmetrical Range of shapessimpler geometric taller and more shapes. Stones in styles andforms regular shapes rows. New materials. 19th materials: iron, century influence concrete. persists.Distinctive irregular Irregular ‘block Precise italic or Range of fonts.lettering. Bound capital’ lettering capital letters. Lettering is oftenletters. Archaic remains common. Modern fonts. applied to surfacespelling. Also fine italic in metal. script.
  13. 13. Headstone materials• Stone – Limestone – Sandstone – Marble – Slate – Granite• Metal – Iron – Bronze – Lead• Wood• Terracotta• Reconstituted stone
  14. 14. Which headstones have survived?• Most headstones will date from post 1600• Earlier wooden memorials have perished• Some older stone have been removed
  15. 15. What is the headstone?• Archaeological Artefact – Form and function• Historical Document – Often replaces paper records
  16. 16. Headstone types• Marker stones – And head and foot of grave. Name and date.• Headstones – Inscription, and motif. Sometimes kerbstones. Set in ground. C19th onwards, concrete foundations.• Ledger slabs – Inscribed. Body underneath. Loor markers inside, outside are level with ground. Coped stone / bodystone similar but curved and raised.• Tomb chests – Rectangular monuments, with top slab. Usually hollow, with metal cramps.• Pedestal tombs – Similar to tomb chests but have legs/columns under the slab.• Allegorical sculpture – Crosses, obelisks, etc. Victorian era sees figures such as angels and mourners.• Graveboards – Wooden panels with inscription
  17. 17. Reading a headstoneInformation:• Name• Date of birth and deathAdditional information:• Occupation• Family links• Nature of death• Beliefs & Actions in Life
  18. 18. Community history from headstones• We can tell a lot about the makeup of a community from headstones.• This is an example of symbols relating to trades commonly found on 19-20th century headstones in the UK. T.Asquith-Lamb from CSA, Introduction to Grave Recording, www.scottishgraveyards.org.uk
  19. 19. Beliefs• There are numerous indexes available online, some more accurate than others.• The Church Monuments Society has a comprehensive glossary of 20th century symbols: http://www.churchmonumentssociety.org/Sy mbolism_on_Monuments.html
  20. 20. Memorials Left to right: Wikipedia.com; geograph.org.uk
  21. 21. Locating headstones• Local society website• Sometimes plot numbers from Parish registers• Nearly always plot numbers from Cemetery registers
  22. 22. Mapping headstones• Log using a handheld GPS device• Or register using a National Grid Reference – Use a 1:25000 scale Ordnance Survey map – Needs to be AT LEAST 6 figures – The first part of this NGR will be TR – The second part will be 975 and 583 Portable Antiquities Scheme website – ‘Getting grid references’, www.finds.org.uk/guide/torecording/gridreferences
  23. 23. Mapping headstones• Or get a NGR online (see www.finds.org.uk for instructions to use these websites): – Magic - http://www.magic.gov.uk (although this might change following Government reorganisations). – Wheresthepath - http://wtp2.appspot.com/wheresthepath.htm (OS and web mapping services side by side, brilliant!) – Streetmap - http://www.streetmap.co.uk/ – Nearby.org.uk - http://www.nearby.org.uk/ (great for co-ordinate conversions etc)
  24. 24. Cemetery Plans • You may wish to record a headstone’s location using an existing plot planSouthampton Old Cemetery Plan of Plots, from www.southampton.gov.uk
  25. 25. Recording headstonesCheck first at:• Gravestone Photographic Resource - http://www.gravestonephotos.com/index.php• Local society website• Local authority website – e.g. http://www.eastleigh.gov.uk/our- community/cemeteries-in-eastleigh/cemetery- database.aspxUse a standard recording sheet:• Council for Scottish Archaeology example - http://www.scottishgraveyards.org.uk/downloads/10G BasicForm.pdf
  26. 26. Enhance the Record!• Draw the headstone/s• Photograph the headstone/s• Photogrammetry on headstone/s• Reflectance Transformation Imaging on headstone/s