Archaeo-Physics, LLC - geophysical survey and subsurface mapping
Cemetery Evaluation Form

The following questionnaire may be filled out online when enqiring about cemetery mapping or grave locaton. The answers you provide will help us in making a preliminary assessment of the feasibility of geophysical mapping. Of course, because of the unique nature of every cemetery and its environment, we will ask for more additional information in working with you to develop a detailed survey design and cost estimate.

For other types of archaeological sites, use our general site form.

A review of the questions will also help to make you aware of conditions that should be noted in the field that may be relevant to future geophysical survey.

Responses to this form and all other inquiries will be held in strict confidentiality.

Contact information:

Email address

Site information:

Cemetery name:
Type of cemetery :
Rural public or instituional
Rural family or local
Prehistoric or protohistoric Native American
Isolated grave
Clandestine grave (criminal investigation)
Ethnic/cultural affiliation(s):
Age or range of dates :
Purpose of investigation:
Brief summary of investigation or research design:
Purpose of geophysical survey within investigation:
Size of cemetery (or area to be surveyed):
General environmental context:

Questions in the following sections largely concern issues of survey design and logistics and are not necessarily of concern in other types of archaeological investigations. Please try to address all questions that are applicable to your site.

Physical context:

Describe anticipated burial practices
Describe anticipated physical composition of coffins, vaults, and other components of burial features
For Native American cemeteries, describe any mounds or other earthworks, and their present condition
What is the estimated depth to the tops and bottoms of burials?
What types of monuments and non-burial features might be expected at the site?
In the case of stone features, what type of stone is used, and does it occur naturally on site?
Did landscaping of the cemetery involve extensive earth moving, such as terracing or filling?
Was iron or steel used for monuments or landscaping elements?
Are any marked graves present?
Are grave markers missing or displaced?
Are gravesthought to be relatively coherent and undisturbed?
What processes and events have impacted the site subsequent to interments, and to what extent?
Are utility lines present?
Are soil samples from the cemetery area available for testing?
Landform/sedimentary context:
What are the natural soils at the site?
What is the parent material of the soils?
Are soils very alkaline?
Are soils fairly homogeneous ?
Are distinct natural strata (not soil horizons) present?
Are soils excessively dry or saturated?
Is there generally noticeable moisture in the soil within a few cm of the surface?
At the surface, is the soil usually hard, blocky, loose, sandy?
If soils are rocky:
What type of rock occurs naturally?
Characterize the size and concentration of rocks
What is the depth to bedrock, and what is its composition?
Are samples of naturally occurring soil and rock available for testing?
Current land use/ground cover:

Cemeteries vary widely in their condition, and cultivated or developed areas may contain intact burials from older cemeteries. Provide responses to any the following questions that may be relevant to your site.

Current land use:
Restored historic cemetery
Agricultural re-use
Urban or developed re-use
What are the surface conditions at the site?
Describe the vegetation at the site
What is the height and thickness of brush, grass etc.?
Do cactus or thorny brush grow thickly?
Is the survey area relatively contiguous and free from obstacles?
Describe obstacles to survey:
Is the ground surface relatively smooth, or is it furrowed or broken?
Are there appreciable amounts of modern metal debris not related to cemetery activities?
Are there ferrous metal fences, buildings, utility lines, machinery, etc. at the site?
Will livestock be present?
Are photographs or maps of the cemetery available?
If trees are present:
Do they grow thickly?
What is the type and size of trees?
Do the trees have many branches below shoulder height that would be obstacles to survey?
If cultivated:
What are the crops?
Are fields irrigated?
What condition will the field be in at the time of survey?
Will walking close-interval transects cause crop damage?




top home Case studies Methodology Survey inquiries Contact Search

Website ©Archaeo-Physics LLC. Unless otherwise noted, materials from this website may be reproduced for nonprofit educational purposes; please cite or link to source page. This page last updated February 9, 2012