Gender difference? A survey in Calvary Cemetery

Gravestone research has its importance in historical archaeology research, not only it can provide information of gender differences, self-identity, social status and kinship relations of the past society but also a milestone of historical archaeology that set by James Deetz. This time, let’s take a look and make some tributes to Deetz by doing a little observation in Calvary Cemetery.

A corner of the cemetery. Photo by Jiun

The following is my survey route, I survey from the South west corner to the east side then the north end of the cemetery. The other area is covered by my teammates,  basically we try to observe as many as possible. Here’s our survey route Jiun’s, Roger’s. and Li-Ying’s.

So, here’s the thing. After analyze the data we record, I find that there is indeed a difference between male and female gravestone, the size. According to the plot (1 is male, 2 is female, the side numbers are sizes) I generate, although it is not significant over numbered, the male gravestone in some cases indeed bigger than female’s. However, this seems the only different trait I observed. I also analyze the relation between sex and material, period, shape. Interestingly is, instead of sex difference, the material and shape of gravestone are more related with period. It seems the vogue is also significant.

Speaking to fashion, it seems 1920-1925 was a pivot point of design shift.  Plot shows most of the gravestones are block and monument after this period, the early multiple design was no longer exist. Also the material choosing seems related to period as well, marble disappeared after 1920 and metal only go on table for few decades.

Since this is only a preliminary observation, there might have statistical error (maybe a lot!) but these plot is still interesting and story telling, is it?

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