Date of Award

Fall 12-9-2011

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Bethany Turner

Second Advisor

Frank Williams

Third Advisor

Jeffrey Glover


This study conducts a multi-isotopic bioarchaeological analysis of the Avondale Burial Place (McArthur Cemetery), a recently discovered Emancipation-era African American cemetery near Macon, GA. Stable isotopic analyses were performed on available dental remains in order to reconstruct the diet and demography of the individuals buried at McArthur Cemetery. Specifically, δ18O and δ13C were characterized in tooth enamel and examined in tandem with collaborative osteological and mortuary analyses to reconstruct early-life diet and residential origin. The results suggest that members of the Avondale community buried in McArthur did not experience significant mobility, but rather resided in the area for most of their lives. Overall, these results greatly contribute to the genealogical research of McArthur Cemetery’s descendants as well as the fragmented history of the South by exploring whether the individuals in this community took part in the Great Migration following the Civil War.