Phoenixville Cemetery Results

Laura Sherrod - 2015

Magnetometer and Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) surveys were performed across the site with a line spacing of 1.5ft.  The results of the magnetometer survey were inconclusive for burials.  They did, however, image features such as the remnants of a fence that once existed in the churchyard.  The results of the GPR survey were much more useful for the identification of unmarked burials.  Numerous hyperbolic reflections in the GPR survey images indicate that there may indeed be unmarked burials at the site of the Historical Society of the Phoenixville Area.  The hyperbolic reflections, caused by diffraction of the radar wave off the edges of discrete objects in the subsurface, could be associated with coffins.  To support the interpretation of unmarked burials, all GPR profiles were analyzed for these diffraction hyperbolas.  With a survey line spacing of 1.5ft, the three dimensional results of the GPR survey over a coffin should show continuity across two or more GPR survey lines. 

GPR results of the cemetery site 


Combined magnetometer and GPR results of the cemetery site

The position of each GPR anomaly was marked with either a gray or a black circle.  Black circles indicate GPR anomalies that strongly resembles the anomaly that would be expected from a coffin while gray circles indicate GPR anomalies that moderately resemble the anomaly that would be expected from a coffin.  Anomalies at the locations of gray circles are hyperbolic but lack some aspect of the strength of resemblance of the black circles (i.e. shallower in depth, smaller in size, weaker in signal strength).  The continuity of the GPR anomalies across multiple lines and the presence of so many hyperbolic reflections across the site indicates that there are numerous unmarked burials at the site of the HSPA.                 

Samantha Olex operates the magnetometer beside the building Students set up the GPR survey Casey Michalowski straightens the survey lines  
Ogonna Ofoma runs the GPR up the hill at the edge of Church Street. Casey Michalowski takes notes while Kaley Miller operates the GPR GEL 358 Fall 2015

Phoenixville Cemetery
Archaeological Geophysics Ground Penetrating Radar
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