Rowan University Archaeology Students Restore Historic Hopewell CemeteryApril 19, 2001
When talking about New Jersey history, people mention battlefields, buildings and memorials. Cemeteries rarely come to mind; but, New Jersey is full of historic cemeteries that offer records of places, events and especially people that have helped shape our state?s cultural heritage. Unfortunately, many of New Jersey?s oldest cemeteries may disappear.
Not wanting this to happen, Rowan University archaeology professor Maria Rosado applied for and received a grant for her and her archaeology students to restore the Old Baptist Graveyard in Lower Hopewell Township. A registered historic landmark, the cemetery serves as the final resting place for Revolutionary and Civil War soldiers and officers as well as the first white person born in the vicinity of Hopewell Township.
According to Rosado, cemeteries are often severely affected by the physical ravages of time, such as wind, water and solar erosion and biological agents of deterioration, such as lichen. Many cemeteries have been neglected for a variety of reasons and are heavily affected by looting, human carelessness, construction and pollution, all the product of human behavior.