Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

John Kantner - Chair

Second Advisor

Kathryn A. Kozaitis

Third Advisor

Emanuela Guano


All across the world, people struggle daily to create and enhance their sense of identity. Such struggles are waged in many ways, including through the process of rediscovering and reinterpreting history. Mt. Sinai Baptist Church, an African American congregation in a suburb of Atlanta, is engaged in a search for its church cemetery, lost when the land was sold to the military during the nation’s mobilization for World War II. The church’s efforts are analyzed in the context of identity creation -- a search for links to a mythic and self-sufficient past. Archaeological methods reveal compelling evidence that the cemetery lies in a location previously unknown to the community. Through a collaborative process, the church community and the investigator identify the possible cemetery location and develop plans to institute reforms that are sustainable and agreeable to all parties.


Included in

Anthropology Commons