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An Archaeological Survey of Kell's Grove Cemetery, McIntosh County, Georgia

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Less than a decade ago the Georgia General Assembly created two pieces of legislation that established new procedures for dealing with cemeteries and human remains. Section 5 of House Bill 457, which is now law, outlines a rigid process for changing the use of land where abandoned prehistoric and historic cemeteries are located. This process applies to every kind of human burial regardless of whether the grave in which it lies is marked or unmarked. No cemetery or any part of it may be developed without first obtaining a permit from the governing authority of the municipal corporation or county government wherein the human remains are located. Among other things, the permitting process requires a report, prepared by an archaeologist, stating the number of graves believed to be present, and their locations, as determined by minimally invasive techniques.

Mr. Dan Burkhalter of New America, Inc. currently seeks a permit to develop the land on which Kell's Grove Cemetery lies. Since this cemetery is unfenced, overgrown, has few marked graves, and no person has come forward to accept legal responsibility, Kell's Grove qualifies under Georgia Code 36-72-2 as an "abandoned cemetery." By presenting and summarizing data acquired by research and standard archaeological methods, this report fulfills the archaeological survey requirements placed on the developer by law.