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Office of Archaeological Research

Cemetery Delineation and Research

Cemetery and Grave Identification

Map of Cemetery at Bryce Hospital Campus
Map of cemetery at Bryce Hospital Campus

With remote sensing technology, OAR can produce detailed documentation of subsurface features without disturbing the final resting places of the deceased. Using radar technology, sophisticated software, and experienced staff, OAR can rapidly rediscover the locations of graves that lack surface markers or documentation in a cost-effective manner. This process, for example, has been used successfully at Civil War cemeteries, abandoned rural cemeteries, church cemeteries, and to locate remains at the old Bryce Hospital cemetery.

OAR’s services include delineating cemetery boundaries for preservation purposes; documentation for cemetery areas lacking grave markers or written records, including detailed maps of the location of unmarked graves; and if required in certain circumstances, grave removal.

OAR’s maps provide cemetery caretakers with detailed, high-quality records for future cemetery management. When abandoned cemeteries are inadvertently disturbed our staff can document and relocate graves in a dignified and professional manner.

Cemetery Relocation

OAR Staff Working to Expose Burial Casket
OAR staff working to expose a burial casket

The Office of Archaeological Research (OAR) has over 20 years of experience in working through the legalities associated with complex cemetery relocation research and procedures, including assistance to legal counsel. In addition, OAR handles permitting requirements with the Alabama Historical Commission, the state agency mandated to oversee this process.

OAR staff identify burial locations, document all available information and, in the event of full mitigation, carefully remove any remains or objects associated with internments. Then, as per legal statues, our staff arranges for proper reburial containers in order to relocate graves in a dignified and professional manner.

OAR has relocated numerous cemeteries, large and small, including unrecorded cemeteries, unmarked graves as well as those with above ground markers. Additionally, OAR has arranged for restoration and repair of tombstones for reuse in reburial settings.

OAR is highly regarded for its work on cemetery sites and its experienced and highly professional staff.

More Information

For more information about cemetery and grave identification, contact Falicia Gordon at (205) 371-8700 or fgordon@ua.edu.