Study of unmarked African-American graves at Boone Cemetery continues

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Ground-penetrating radar and an electrical resistivity system are being used to confirm the location of African-American graves in the Boone Cemetery.

The cemetery, located just south of Hardin Street and adjacent to the Appalachian State University campus, is divided into two sections, locally referred to as the “white” (east) and “black” (west) sections. The west section is the larger and contains hundreds of well-marked graves within a fenced perimeter. The east section contains only two well-marked graves, which date to the mid-1800s, and many unmarked graves.

Students and professors from Appalachian’s Department of Geology and Department of Anthropology conducted a ground penetrating radar (GPR) survey on a portion of the east section of the cemetery in 2007. Sixteen major and many minor anomalies were identified along the hillcrest close to the boundary between the two cemetery sections.

The area was resurveyed in April by geophysics and geoarchaeology students of Drs. Scott Marshall and Ellen Cowan in Appalachian’s Department of Geology to confirm the location of the unmarked graves.

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