Spade & the Grave

death and burial through an archaeological lens

Hire Me!

Interested in sprucing up your community’s historic cemetery? Repairing those fallen gravestones?
Do you have a heritage site you’d like researched?
An archaeological collection that needs some illustrations?

Well, you’ve come to the right place, as I am available for freelance consulting and cemetery restoration! Below you will find a list of the services I can offer to you and your organisation.

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Broken stones for the Carter children.

Services Offered

  • Cemetery Restoration & Conservation Services: Comprehensive conservation & restoration services for historic cemeteries, working to raise sunken stones from below the surface, implement best-practices for conservation regarding foundation setting and stabilisation, gravestone pinning (marble, sandstone, etc) and reconstruction, and gravestone cleaning using solutions which will not cause extended deterioration of the stones, such as D/2. Working with the most up-to-date stone preservation techniques, gravestones will be cleaned and conserved in order to retain their history and inscriptions for future generations.
    This will involve the removal of buried cement ‘platforms’ to be replaced with fine limestone screening for drainage and to prevent sinking, the use of Memorial Grid support system for the support of large monuments, pinning and resetting broken stones, moulding new keys (bases) for broken stones, and cleaning.
  • If you are interested in learning more about the Memorial Grid system, or purchasing it for yourself, please check out their website: memorialgrid.ca! The grid is made from 85% recycled materials, and will keep even large obelisks from shifting and sinking for years to come, for a fraction of the cost. It’s really amazing stuff!
  • Cemetery Recording & Mapping: Historic cemeteries often have unreliable maps that do not correspond to records. With experience mapping and recording cemeteries and grave markers in Ireland, the Isle of Man, British Columbia, Newfoundland, Alberta, and Ontario, I would be more than happy to undertake mapping projects to ensure accurate, reliable records for your database and archives. If applicable, community volunteers and students can be taught to carry out recording for projects.
  • Best Practices for Cemetery Longevity: I would be more than happy to teach a workshop to your community group or class on best practices for gravestone recording and conservation, do’s and don’ts for preserving your gravestones, and other aspects of cemetery history. Gravestone preservation through preventive methods is my favourite topic!
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    The repaired Carter Sisters’ stones

    Historic Research & Reporting: As an archaeologist, I have extensive experience preparing documents and reports on the background, alterations, and evolution of historic sites. For archaeological and historical sites from the historic period, this involves historic research at archives, land registry offices, museum collections, and more in order to track down the evolution of the landscape and the site within it.

  • Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) Survey data evaluation: While it is relatively easy to hire a consulting firm to survey a burial ground with a GPR, often technicians are more familiar with pipelines than human remains. With my experience evaluating GPR burial surveys in a variety of sub-surface conditions, I can provide a secondary evaluation and interpretation of your GPR data.
  • Burial ground project planning & Excavation: Planning, organization, and implementation of a fieldwork plan for the survey and excavation of a historic burial ground (where permitted by permit-holding status). I have undertaken several large-scale excavations as director, while teaching and supervising students, community members, and archaeologists alike.
  • Archaeological Artifact Illustrations: On top of burial archaeology, I am a trained illustrator and traditional medium artist, working primarily with pencil and ink, along with digital means such as Adobe Photoshop, to create accurate, to scale, and detailed illustrations of archaeological artifacts for publications. I specialise in small finds but am looking to take on bigger challenges. Illustration is especially beneficial for materials which do not photograph well, such as glass, some lithic materials such as obsidian, and rusted objects. Illustrations provide another way of viewing an artifact, which can reveal additional details about the object itself. I am also a watercolour painter, and would be happy to create watercolour illustrations of your site, building reconstructions, or profiles.

I am qualified to hold archaeological field permits in the provinces of Newfoundland & Labrador and Nova Scotia, in accordance with provincial guidelines. I have experience with cultural heritage policy and planning in Ontario, and have excavated in Newfoundland, Ontario, and British Columbia, as well as the Isle of Man.

If you are interested in discussing services or are interested in obtaining a quote for a potential project, please contact me at rslacy11 (at) gmail (dot) com, or through the ‘Contact’ page on the website.

Looking forward to working together!