The Mortuary Constructions of William Rufus Jackson: A Demographic and Spatial Analysis of Folk Art Tombstones in the East Alabama Area
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Mortuary analysis in historical archaeology is a field promising a wealth of information concerning past attitudes towards death. Previous studies have concentrated on large-scale studies over large geographical areas to ascertain relationships between manifestations of mortuary ritual (primarily the headstone and the cemetery) with community demographics and ideology. This paper will be a preliminary inspection at a smaller-scale limited to a single stone carver during the 19th century in the east Alabama/west Georgia area: William “Rock” Jackson. The artist, his template and the possible relationship of the mortuary constructions to the demographics of the community are of primary interest in this study.