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Archaeology Museum

"Unwritten: Archaeology & Oral History of Jim Crow Mobile"

On Exhibit Now


Exhibit Info


"WPA Cemeteries in Florida"

 Alabama Archaeological Society, Southwest Chapter Monthly Lecture

3:30 PM, Tues., Mar. 12 

Free & open to the public!

Summary: In the 1930s under President Franklin D. Roosevelt the Work Progress Administration took on a wide variety of projects to employ Americans through the Great Depression. One of the later projects was an effort to locate the resting place for all American Veterans, from the Revolutionary War, Civil War, and World War I. This project relied on a variety of veteran organizations and military branches to located cemeteries in each state and then determine if there were any veterans buried in those cemeteries and develop a list. Some states have used this list in various ways and many have made it available publicly through a variety of means. However, Florida has not followed suit and several years ago an unmarked cemetery was accidentally excavated and dumped on the side of I-10 as roadway fill for construction. For the last two years Maranda, along with co-workers, have been reviewing the WPA records for Florida in order to map out the various cemetery locations. Many are still known cemeteries, however many have been forgotten over time. This talk will review some of the methods used to locate these cemeteries and review a few examples of directions that were recorded in the 1940s leading directly to a cemetery that was forgotten and later found. It is hoped that this work will help the state protect more of these forgotten cemeteries from unintentional destruction.

About: Maranda Kles, Ph.D. is a bioarchaeologist and forensic anthropologist. She earned her PhD from the University of Florida and focused on an examination of the biological relationship of past Native American peoples in relation to their material culture. Dr. Kles taught at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette for several years and the University of Florida. She is currently the President of Archaeological Consultants, Inc. a Florida-based Cultural Resource Management firm. While at ACI she has focused on helping clients evaluate and protect cultural resources throughout Florida. This work lead to her interest in locating unmarked or forgotten cemeteries

For more information, please contact the USA Archaeology Museum 

Email: ArchaeologyMuseum@southalabama.edu 

Phone: (251) 460-6106


event flyer



The USA Archaeology Museum showcases artifacts from the Gulf Coast and covers over 12,000 years of prehistory and history. Artifacts are contextualized using a series of life-size scenic representations depicting archaeologists at work and glimpses into the ways of life of ancient Woodland cultures, mound-building Mississippian peoples, early French settlers, and an African American family after the Civil War. FREE ADMISSION!




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