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African American Cemeteries Forum

Comparing AfriAm Cemetery Population

A comparative health analysis of the historic African American cemetery population from 1LA151, Foster Cemetery, to three contemporaneous historic southeastern African American cemetery populations
by Thompson, Brandon Samuel, M.A., The University of Alabama, 2009 , 269 pages; AAT 1468043
Abstract (Summary)
The focus of this thesis involves the examination of two hypotheses stemming from field and osteological work at Foster Cemetery (1LA151) located in Lawrence County in northwest Alabama. The majority of this thesis assesses and compares models of health of the skeletal populations, using osteological analysis methods, from Foster Cemetery, Elko Switch (1MA305) located in southern Madison County in north Alabama, Ridley Graveyard (40WM208) located in Williamson County in central Tennessee, and Cedar Grove Cemetery (3LA97) located in Lafayette County in southwestern Arkansas. It is hypothesized that the skeletal population from Foster Cemetery will exhibit a similar level of health, in terms of demography, diet, growth and development, infection, degenerative joint disease, and trauma, as the skeletal populations from Elko Switch, Ridley Graveyard, and Cedar Grove Cemetery.

The second purpose of this project compares the sex/age identifications garnered from osteological analysis with those of the initial field artifact analysis performed by Southeastern Anthropological Institute (SAI). By using a transit to plot and map burial coordinates, SAI created geographical information system (GIS) maps that defined burial shapes, sizes, and their locations within the cemetery. For the first map, burials were assigned a sex/age identification based on initial artifact observations in the field. For instance, a large burial with a shaving razor is identified as an adult male. The age/sex identifications for the second map are based on osteological analysis. These maps make possible distinctions easily recognizable and add a visual representation of the field and lab observations. By doing so any differences between the two maps are clearly shown and distinguished. It is hypothesized that there will be differences between the sex/age identifications based on the osteological analysis and those based on the initial field artifact analysis.


18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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