Northeastern Section - 49th Annual Meeting (23–25 March)

Paper No. 6
Presentation Time: 8:00 AM-12:00 PM


BURKHART, Mackenze Sintay, Earth Sciences & Archaeology, Dickinson College, P.O. Box 1773, Carlisle, PA 17013-2896 and HEDEN, Christopher, Archaeology, Chemistry, Dickinson College, HUB Box 1079 Dickinson College, 28 N College St, Carlisle, PA 17013,

The Lobach Cemetery is located in Latimore Township in Adams County, PA, 30 km north of Gettysburg, PA. The focus of this project is to identify the lithology and source of the different stones used for the tombstones in the Lobach Cemetery and to use that information to infer temporal changes in lithologic preference and availability.

We hypothesize that the temporal pattern in tombstone lithology is directly correlated to infrastructure constraints on providing access to various lithologies. If this is the case, the oldest stones in the cemetery would be locally sourced and quarried or collected in close vicinity to the cemetery. We also hypothesize that the younger tombstones are likely to be imported higher quality lithologies that could be obtained as local infrastructure and stone carving technology improved.

There are three different tombstone lithologies present in the cemetery. The tombstones made from the late Pre-Cambrian metarhyolite of the Catoctin Fm. have no burial dates and are presumed to be the oldest stone in the cemetery. This lithology makes up 12% of the tombstones, and the formation outcrops 3 km from the cemetery. The second lithology is Triassic arkosic sandstone from the Gettysburg Fm. The closest potential quarries are 4 km to the south and 10 km to the northeast of the cemetery. The dates of the sandstone tombstones range from 1792-1859 with one outlier from 1885, and make up 40% of the tombstones in the cemetery. The third lithology present is a lower Ordovician marble. It is likely that the marble was imported from quarries in Dorset, Vermont, 600 km from the Lobach Cemetery. Even though the Cockeysville Marble in MD is closer, the calcite grain size and historical records of Dorset marble production and exports into Gettysburg cause us to prefer the more distant source. The marble tombstones range in date from 1811-1888, with one outlier from 1933, and make up 48% of the tombstones in the cemetery. We found the change in tombstone lithology to be linked to improvements in the local economy, stone carving technology, and transportation infrastructure during the different time periods of the cemetery’s use. This trend is also overprinted by changes in cultural factors, such as the Greek Revival Movement.