Spade & the Grave

death and burial through an archaeological lens


Spade & the Grave is a place to explore the topics of death / dying / burial through the lens of archaeology. Archaeologists are faced with human mortality regularly through research, excavation, and often face to face encounters with the dead. As a result, this connection seems only natural.


Sticking my arm into the “mystery pit” at Ferryland, 2017.

Robyn S. Lacy is an archaeologist and illustrator from British Columbia. She is currently looking for new opportunities in heritage! While she recently worked with built heritage and heritage landscapes, her primary academic research area is historical mortuary / landscape archaeology. She in particularly interested in aspects of burial landscape development, protective marks, gravestone inscription development, as well as the use of lime in heritage structures, and lime kiln development and use in North America.

She received her MA in Archaeology with Distinction from Memorial University of Newfoundland in 2017, where her research focused on examining the spatial relationship between early 17th-century colonial burial grounds and settlements. She holds a BA in Archaeology with a minor in Museum & Heritage Studies from the University of Calgary, and spent one year of her undergrad studying British Archaeology at Durham University in England.

She frequently publishes on her research through peer-reviewed journals and texts, community/organization journals, and here on Spade & the Grave.


The Aurora Dead House, 2018

Robyn is currently working on her first book,
“Burial and Death in Colonial North America: Exploring Interment Practices and Landscapes in 17th-century British Settlements”, based on the work conducted during her Masters research on 17th century burial grounds and landscapes in colonial British settlements in North America, set to be published in spring 2019 with Emerald Publishing.

You can contact Robyn through the ‘Contact’ page on this website, or through twitter, @robyn_la

Thanks for reading!