Projects - Manchester Cemetary

Supplemental Archaeological Assessment and Archaeological Monitoring
Legacy Park Manchester One LLC Subdivision
Manchester, Hillsborough County, New Hampshire

Client: The Richmond Company, Inc, and Legacy Park Manchester One LLC
Date completed: September, October and December 2010

The project consisted of a 5.1-ha parcel of land within the City of Manchester to be developed for a housing subdivision. The parcel was previously owned by the Diocese of Manchester and abuts an extant Catholic cemetery. Previous attempts at sale of the parcel during 2004 had led to the identification of late 19th-early 20th century burials in a portion of the property, which has since been designated part of the cemetery. The archaeological investigation was conducted by the NE ARC specifically to determine the existence or likelihood of the presence of unmarked human remains, burial sites, or cemetery artifacts within the proposed project area, and was composed of three separate tasks:

1. Ground penetrating radar (GPR) survey of previously defined "targeted/priority areas"
2. Ground-truthing of GPR anomalies
3. Monitoring of the initial phase of project-related ground clearance and subsurface ground disturbance.

The GPR survey was conducted by TopoGraphix LLC, with the NE ARC present to observe and direct the survey if so required, as requested by NH SHPO. GPR survey in each of the targeted areas was conducted in order to determine whether or not subsurface anomalies consistent with prior disturbance of the soil and/or possible burial sites were present, and to delineate on the ground the location of the anomalies. The NE ARC worked closely with TopoGraphix to interpret the GPR results in terms of strength, horizontal extent and depth of any anomalies.

Subsequent ground-truthing of a total of 25 subsurface anomalies involved utilizing a small backhoe for the mechanical removal of sediments overlying the anomaly, and hand excavation where appropriate. Two additional sensitive areas were identified during the archaeological assessment based primarily on ground surface features and anecdotal references; due to ground surface conditions these were not surveyed using the GPR, but were investigated using the backhoe. Control trenches were also excavated in areas lacking anomalies.

No unmarked human remains, burial sites or in situ cemetery artifacts were identified as a result of the assessment. Following consultation with the client and the NH DHR, and fully cognizant of the needs of the client in balance with the highly sensitive nature of the investigation, the NE ARC conducted archaeological monitoring of the initial phase of project-related ground clearance.

Report: Scharoun, Stephen R., Gemma-Jayne Hudgell, and Robert N. Bartone
2010 - Supplemental Archaeological Assessment of the Proposed Legacy Park Manchester One LLC Subdivision, Manchester, Hillsborough County, New Hampshire. Northeast Archaeology Research Center, Inc.


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