Monday, December 22, 2014

Remote Sensing in an Abandoned Graveyard Near Bayou Teche

On December 18, 2014 the New Acadia Project crew and a group of student volunteers cleared brush from a small graveyard in a wooded area in Iberia Parish in order to conduct remote sensing. Although well known to local residents and the property owner, the graveyard had been abandoned and was overgrown. Of the five marked burials and vaults in the graveyard, only one headstone has an inscription. The burial of Jules Berard dates from 1888. The objective of remote sensing is to locate unmarked burials potentially associated with the 1765 settlement of New Acadia.

The New Acadia Project crew and volunteers on December 18. 
An abandoned and overgrown graveyard near Bayou Teche. 
The graveyard after it was cleared.
After clearing the cemetery, the crew returned on December 20
to conduct remote sensing.
Leaves and small branches were removed with rakes to
inspect the surface in preparation for remote sensing.
A total station was used to establish a site grid.

The grid was laid out for remote sensing.
 Grid lines were marked with wooden
stakes and plastic flags.
The Cesium Magnetometer was expertly assembled.

Setting up the Cesium Magnetometer.
Using the magnetometer to collect data along transects.
Remote sensing with a Cesium Magnetometer.

Analysis of the data collected from remote sensing is still in process. Preliminary results, however, indicate several subsurface anomalies in and around the graveyard. Only one of these anomalies is a known grave associated with a headstone.

One of the areas surveyed with the magnetometer, showing a
magnetic anomaly not associated with a marked grave.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

NAP Assistants and Volunteers Clear Brush at an Abandoned Graveyard Near the Bayou Teche

New Acadia Project student assistants and volunteers spent the day clearing brush at an abandoned family graveyard near Bayou Teche in preparation for remote sensing. At least four or five burials are present in the graveyard, as indicated by two large above-ground vaults, a headstone and footstone (or small headstone), and a small slab. Five or more large oaks surround this small family cemetery on the Teche ridge.

Two (unmarked?) tombs  in a wooded lot as they appeared in
October of 2013.
The graveyard was overgrown when previously visited in
October of 2013 and the Summer of 2014.
The same tombs and small slab (on the left) on December 18, 2014,
after the clearing of brush, view to the northwest.
Small unmarked slab in the foreground and two tombs in
the background (view to the northeast).
Once the grounds were cleared, the students laid out a
12-by-18 meter grid for remote sensing (view to the east).
The graveyard includes two chipped and broken headstones, or perhaps
one broken headstone (right) and a small accompanying footstone (left)
that may have been rearranged.
The headstone bears the inscription:
Ne Avril 12, 1856
Decede Novembre 6, 1888"
Another small stone inscribed with the initials "J.B." was initially
thought to be the headstone for a child's grave, but may be a
footstone for the burial of Jules Berard. Footstones bearing the
 initials of the deceased were common during the 19th century.
If this is a footstone for the burial of Jules Berard, it may have
been dislodged and re-positioned.
The graveyard after brush was cleared and a grid was established for
remote sensing (view to the southwest).
Are there additional, unmarked burials in this abandoned graveyard near the Bayou Teche?

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

New Acadia Project Winter 2014 - 2015 Field Expedition Begins

The New Acadia Project has begun fieldwork for the winter. We will be remote sensing at an abandoned historic cemetery near Bayou Teche. Updates to follow.

Headstone in an abandoned cemetery near Bayou Teche in Iberia Parish.