REVEALING LOST BURIALS USING GROUND PENETRATING RADAR
At the Oakwood Cemetery in Niagara Falls, the cemetery oversight board wanted to explore whether there were open areas for additional burials in a section of the Town of Niagara Falls burial ground. At the Holy Mother of the Rosary Polish National Church cemetery in Cheektowaga, the oversight board and bishop were hoping that seven sections of the cemetery without markers were indeed available for future burials. Data from both cemeteries yielded evidence of disturbances likely indicating the presence of burials, and at the Holy Mother of the Rosary cemetery, dozens of burials were detected in an otherwise unmarked area. The results of these projects are being used to mark existing burials and to suggest areas of the cemeteries that may be open for future burials. By using GPR as a non-invasive technique to study the shallow subsurface, the Buffalo State team has been able to help these two cemeteries reconstruct information that was otherwise lost.