A fascinating, lavishly illustrated account, aimed at a non-specialist audience, of the excavation of over 500 burials unexpectedly discovered during development work associated with the First Baptist Church in Philadelphia.
In 2016, construction workers in Philadelphia unexpectedly uncovered a long forgotten burial ground. Archaeologists quickly discovered this was the location of the burial ground of the First Baptist Church of Philadelphia, used as early as 1722. It was thought to have been exhumed and moved in 1859. Months of excavations revealed almost 500 individual burials still remained.
This book shares the complex story of the discovery and excavations. It provides backgrounds of the church, Philadelphia, and the religious climate of the time to give context to the thousands of artifacts that were discovered and are presented in their entirety. The numerous coffin handles and plaques link directly back to English production and are embedded with powerful mortuary symbols. Highlighting cultural exchange between colonial America and England, Artifacts of Mourning provides an important record of 18th- and 19th-century funerary culture.
List of figures Acknowledgements Foreword Preface
1. Introduction 2. The First Baptist Church of Philadelphia and Burial Ground 3. Excavating an Historic Burial Ground 4. Religious Revival and Mourning in the 18th and 19th Century 5. Evidence of Funerary Dress and Textiles 6. Coffins from the First Baptist Church of Philadelphia Burial Ground 7. Miscellaneous Artifacts from the Burial Ground 8. Funerary Symbolism: Handle Grip Plates and Lid Plaques 9. On the Archaeology of Mourning
George M. Leader is an Assistant Professor of Anthropology at The College of New Jersey. He holds a PhD from University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa. His archaeological research and academic publications cover a wide range of time from the Stone Age of Africa to Historical America.
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