The empty burial sites after the team excavated 55 individual sets of remains. Credit - USF Anthropology Team
USF graduate student Liotta Dowdy describes the burial that she’s working on.
USF Forensic Anthropologist Dr. Erin Kimmerle and JPAC Forensic Anthropologist Dr. Gregory Berg look on as the mechanical excavator removes the first few feet of soil.
The project includes numerous volunteers from multiple agencies.
USF graduate students work to carefully uncover remains – Credit: USF Anthropology Team
USF graduate student Liotta Dowdy and USF Forensic Anthropologist Dr. Erin Kimmerle carefully pack the remains to be brought back to the anthropology labs at USF for further analysis.
The mechanical excavation allowed for removal of the first layer of soil. Each burial site was located at slightly different depths, within the 1-meter range.
Lee Manning from NecroSearch International and Dr. Gregory Berg look on as the excavator uncovers another burial, this one under a mulberry tree.
USF Forensic Anthropologist Dr. Erin Kimmerle and JPAC Forensic Anthropologist Dr. Gregory Berg work to carefully uncover remains. – Credit: USF Anthropology Team
Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office Major Robert Ura, Jackson County Sheriff Louis Roberts III and Hillsborough County Sheriff David Gee, observe the uncovered burials as USF Forensic Anthropologist Dr. Erin Kimmerle explains the findings.
Artifacts uncovered, such as coffin hardware or handles, are helpful in dating the burials.
The area of Boot Hill cemetery that the team excavated in December is where the 31 crosses were placed to commemorate the burials in the 1990’s. 13 burials were discovered in that location.
Forensic Anthropologist Dr. Gregory Berg, guides the location and level that the excavator is digging. The bucket has flat plates welded onto it to create a smooth edge, allowing for delicate removal of the soil.
Each artifact and detail of the burial is marked with flag, measured and mapped.
USF graduate student Ashley Maxwell and Dr. Jennifer Mack from Florida Emergency Mortuary Operations Response Team, FEMORS, recover artifacts and remains.
USF Forensic Anthropologist Dr. Erin Kimmerle shares an artifact with Lee Manning NecroSearch International.