The Cemetery as a Social Document
Project Description


Select a cemetery which you wish to visit (temporarily) and study. As a result of this field activity, you will:

  1. Prepare a detailed map of your study site,
  2. Analyze the data you gather from the gravestones in a spreadsheet program, and
  3. Write a brief report (3-4 pages-typewritten) which summarizes your findings.

While each study will vary in content and emphasis, the following rules apply:

A. Basic Cemetery Report:

  1. Cemetery Name
  2. Type: community, township, church, family, etc.
  3. Location:
    1. UTM
    2. Latitude-Longitude
  4. Approximate number of total grave sites. Minimum number is 50. If your chosen cemetery is exceptionally large (over 250) you should select one or two sub-sections.
  5. Cemetery Age and Size
  6. Information on grave markers and monuments. For monument types click HERE
      styles and materials: commercial, generic, homecrafted, indigenous. symbolization and inscriptions (other than basic data entry) Unique shapes, sizes, designs and decorations
  7. Special monuments, signs, benches, statuary, etc.
  8. Structures: buildings, fences, gates, paths, roadways, etc.

B. Making a Map of your cemetery.

All maps should include:

scale- both RF and graphic
locational information.... lat/long and UTM.


Fertility and Mortality:

Print the cemetery data sheet (sample online) to collect birth and death dates for graves in your site. Determine the mean ages at the time of death of those interred before 1920 and those interred 1960 or later. Exclude infants (deaths prior to one year of age.) What inferences can you make for any differences?

Use the data collected to prepare a population pyramid of the ages and numbers of individuals buried at your site. Use the techniques demonstrated in class.

Your final project is DUE ON ___October 15______and should include the following:

  1. Computer Generated MAP of cemetery with gravesite locations marked. Maps should include DIRECTION, SCALE, LOCATIONAL INFORMATION, LEGEND and ANY OTHER INFORMATION YOU FEEL APPROPRIATE. --You can include this on a separate sheet of paper if you wish. SAMPLE MAP

  2. ROUGH FIELD MAP--Include your rough sketch field map in your final packet of material. The reason for including this map is so I can double check your scale and calculations. Sample Rough Sketch Map
  3. DATA LISTING-- Use the Online Form to collect your data or create a similar form of your own. This information MUST be entered into a spreadsheet program.

  4. REPORT (2-4 PAGES, double-spaced, typed, font size 10-14, margins not wider than 1.5 inches) summarizing your map and data.