WEST LONG BRANCH – Monmouth University anthropology professor Richard Veit and Cornell University archaeology professor Sherene Baugher have co-authored a new book, “The Archaeology of American Cemeteries and Gravemarkers,” published by University Press of Florida.
America’s historic burial grounds are a treasure trove of information about American history, culture and art.
The book provides a cultural history of American commemorative practices based on archaeological evidence. It covers the last 500 years of American history and all of North America.
Gravestones, cemeteries and memorial markers offer fixed points in time to examine Americans’ changing attitudes toward death and dying. In tracing the evolution of commemorative practices from the 17th century to the present, Baugher and Veit offer insights into the transformation from a preindustrial and agricultural to an industrial, capitalist country.
Paying particular attention to populations often overlooked in the historical record – African Americans, Native Americans, and immigrant groups – the authors also address the legal, logistical and ethical issues that confront field researchers who conduct cemetery excavations.
Baugher and Veit reveal how gender, race, ethnicity and class have shaped the cultural landscapes of burial grounds.
Veit teaches courses on archaeology, historical archaeology, New Jersey history, Native Americans and historic preservation. He has authored or co-authored numerous articles and reviews and five books.