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Northeast Historical Archaeology

Abstract

The author discusses the importance of historic gravestone fragments and presents a comprehensive management plan for their collection and maintenance. The plan is the culmination of a study of a large collection of fragments belonging to the City of Boston Historic Burying Grounds Initiative. Gravestones are important historical artifacts that must be preserved. An organized and manageable collection is crucial for research, and the proper handling, recording, and storage of gravestone fragments must be undertaken with care. The collection and conservation of fragments must be ongoing and should be a top priority of preservationists. It appears, however, that few policies exist in the United States regarding the collection and handling of gravestone fragments. What follows is intended to serve as a model for gravestone fragment collections management.

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