This thesis explores the intersection of geophysical prospection methods such as ground penetrating radar (GPR) and public archaeology through a case study with the descendant community of Eatonville Memorial Gardens, an African American cemetery located in Central Florida. This moves beyond traditional uses of GPR, such as focusing on locating unmarked burials by engaging the descendant community in each stage of the research project. This expanded focus is advocated for because cemeteries serve as ancestral landscapes providing such communities with a sense of place and history. The maintenance and care of such places often reflect the same social conditions affecting the associated communities (e.g., income disparity, segregation, population changes). The project for this thesis explores the advantages of community involvement in the production of historical knowledge. The central research question thus becomes, can a ground penetrating radar survey locating unmarked graves be productive as a form of engaged, sustainable public archaeology? This thesis answers the research question by demonstrating how traditional findings of GPR surveys (e.g., location of anomalies identified as unmarked burials) aid the community members in significant ways. The findings of this project include identifying 13 such anomalies, which in turn supported the placement of new grave markers as an act of respect and commemoration. Furthermore, the sustainability of archaeology at the site increased through community involvement in planning, educating the volunteers and visitors about the cooperative archaeology taking place, and making this project data and results available to the public.
Master of Arts (M.A.)
College of Sciences
Length of Campus-only Access
Masters Thesis (Open Access)
Ott, Richard, "Ground Penetrating Radar and Public Archaeology at Eastonville Memorial Gardens Cemetery" (2022). Electronic Theses and Dissertations, 2020-. 1481.